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Sen Langford

Tools for the Trade: US Should Consider Religious Liberty


The Obama administration may not be doing much to stop religious persecution, but Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) is determined to.

In the middle of a thorny trade debate, the freshman senator won the unanimous support of his chamber for an amendment that requires the President to consider religious liberty during trade agreements.

“I’ve been told over and over again, ‘We don’t talk about religious freedom in our trade negotiations,” Lankford said.

But he thinks the U.S. should “lead with our values and not sell out for a dollar the people who have been in bondage as a prisoner of conscience for years.” According to Lankford’s office, this would be the first time in history that religious liberty would be a mandatory part of international trade talks.

Two weeks after the U.S. Commission on International Religious Liberty slammed the country for not incorporating the issue into its foreign policy, Senator Lankford’s measure is one of the first meaningful steps in reversing that trend.

Unfortunately, it’s a stark contrast to the Obama administration’s silence on religious liberty in all aspects of policy — at home and abroad.

We applaud senators on both sides for filling the void left by this President and taking the plight of the persecuted seriously.


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