WASHINGTON (July 23, 1997) -- The chairman of the U.S. Catholic Conference's International Policy Committee welcomed the release of a new State Department report on persecution of Christians abroad, saying it "raises the curtain on the hidden reality of persecution."
Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick of Newark (NJ) applauded the report in a letter to Assistant Secretary of State John Shattuck.
"The focus on the widespread persecution suffered by Christians is most welcome because their sufferings have so often been overlooked," Archbishop McCarrick said. "It is clear from the report why protection of religious liberty is not only in accord with the best of American ideals, but is also important to maintaining peace and security around the world."
The State Department has increased its monitoring of religious persecution abroad in recent years. Last year it established a special Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, of which Archbishop McCarrick is a member.
"I am confident that this report will greatly assist the Committee in developing creative proposals for further improving the U.S. government's ability to ensure that protection of religious liberty is a central element of U.S. diplomacy and immigration policy."