BY SENATORS Hillman, Anderson, Andrews, Arnold, Blickensderfer, Chlouber, Congrove, Dennis, Dyer, Epps, Evans, Feeley, Hernandez, Lacy, Lamborn, Linkhart, Martinez, Matsunaka, Musgrave, Nichol, Owen, Pascoe, Perlmutter, Phillips, Powers, Reeves, Rupert, Sullivant, Tanner, Tebedo, Teck, and Thiebaut;

also REPRESENTATIVES King, Alexander, Allen, Clapp, Clarke, Coleman, Dean, Decker, Fairbank, Gagliardi, George, Gordon, Hagedorn, Hefley, Johnson, Kaufman, Keller, Larson, Lawrence, Lee, McElhany, McKay, McPherson, Miller, Morrison, Paschall, Pfiffner, Plant, Ragsdale, Scott, Sinclair, Spence, Spradley, Swenson, Tapia, Tupa, Webster, S. Williams, T. Williams, and Witwer.


WHEREAS, The right of freedom of religion undergirds the very origin and existence of the United States, since many of our nation's founders from John Winthrop to Roger Williams to William Penn fled religious persecution in order to establish the right to freedom of religion in law as a fundamental right and as a pillar of our nation; and

WHEREAS, From its birth to this day, the United States has prized this legacy of religious freedom and honored this heritage by standing for religious freedom and offering refuge to those suffering religious persecution; and

WHEREAS, Freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and fundamental freedom articulated in numerous international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Helsinki Accords, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, the United Nations Charter, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and

WHEREAS, The right to freedom of religion is under renewed and, in some cases, increasing assault in many countries around the world; and

WHEREAS, It is even more abhorrent that religious believers in many countries face such severe and violent forms of religious persecution as detention, torture, beatings, forced marriage, rape, imprisonment, enslavement, mass resettlement, and death merely for the peaceful belief in, change of, or practice of their faith; and

WHEREAS, In many countries, religious believers are forced to meet secretly, and religious leaders are targeted by national security forces and hostile mobs; and

WHEREAS, Though not confined to a particular region or regime, religious persecution is often particularly widespread, systematic, and heinous under totalitarian governments and in countries with militant, politicized, religious majorities; and

WHEREAS, Persecution of religious believers around the world has emerged as one of the most compelling human rights issues of the day, in particular the worldwide persecution and martyrdom of Christians persist at alarming levels, which is an affront to the international moral community and to all people of conscience; and

WHEREAS, Chinese Christians and Tibetan Buddhists are now experiencing the worst persecution since the 1970's at the hands of the Chinese government; and

WHEREAS, Severe persecution of people for their religious beliefs is also occurring in North Korea, Pakistan, Cuba, Vietnam, Indonesia, including East Timor, and in certain countries in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, to name only a few; and

WHEREAS, The militant Muslim government of Sudan is waging what its leader has described as a jihad, or religious war, against Christian and other non­Muslim citizens in the southern part of the country, enforcing Islamic Shari's law against non­Muslim African Sudanese, torturing, starving, killing, and displacing over one million people, and enslaving tens of thousands of women and children; and

WHEREAS, The Nazi Holocaust resulted in the murder of some six million Jews, while millions more were beaten, tortured, and raped; and

WHEREAS, Historically, the United States has in many instances failed to intervene successfully to stop anti­Christian and other religious persecution; and

WHEREAS, In the past the United States has forcefully taken up the cause of other persecuted religious believers, and the United States should continue to intervene on behalf of persecuted religious believers throughout the world; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty­second General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

That the General Assembly encourages Congress to:

(1)  Condemn violations of religious freedom, and promote and assist other governments in the promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of religion;

(2)  Seek to channel United States security and development assistance to governments other than those found to be engaged in gross violations of the right to freedom of religion, as set forth in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Public Law 87­195, in the International Financial Institutions Act of 1977, Public Law 95­118, and in other formulations of United States human rights policy;

(3)  Work with foreign governments that affirm and protect religious freedom in order to develop multilateral documents and initiatives to combat violations of religious freedom and promote the right to religious freedom abroad.

Be It Further Resolved, That, in accordance with the provisions of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the members of the Colorado Congressional delegation recommend to the President of the United States the appointment of members of uncompromising opposition towards religious persecution to the commission on religious persecution, created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Resolution be sent to the members of the Colorado Congressional delegation and the President of the United States.

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Ray Powers Russell George



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Patricia K. Dicks Judith M. Rodrigue