Excerpt:

A bill unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would extend religious protections to advocates of circumcision and ritual slaughter as well as atheists, addressing what its sponsors describe as an increase in religious persecution in recent years.

The bill, passed Monday, would broaden the definition of "violations of religious freedom" in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to include the persecution of advocates of male circumcision or ritual animal slaughter. Atheists would become a new protected class.

The measure, which moves to the Senate for consideration, was named for retired Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., a longtime champion of human rights who authored the 1998 law.


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