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What International Religious Freedom Groups Think of State Department vs. USCIRF

(UPDATED) Government Accountability Office asks more than 130 NGOs to rate the two federal bodies on religious freedom.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote religious freedom generally think the U.S. Department of State and United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) are doing a good job promoting religious freedom. But they also offer ideas for improvement.

The GAO queried more than 130 groups active on international religious freedom. Of the 84 respondents, 3 out of 4 surveyed NGOs "said that the U.S. government had made at least some progress in promoting religious freedom overall" (though only 1 in 3 said there has been "moderate" progress or more). This includes efforts to engage "in dialogue with foreign governments to effect changes in policy (59 of 83 NGOs, or 71 percent) and [engage] in dialogue with NGOs and civil society groups regarding international religious freedom (65 of 84 NGOs, or 77 percent)."

In spite of the overall positive perception of the government's work, surveyed NGOs ...

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