United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 17, 2024

§ 6402.
In this chapter:
Ambassador at Large

The term “Ambassador at Large” means the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom appointed under section 6411(b) of this title.

Annual Report

The term “Annual Report” means the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom described in section 6412(b) of this title.

Appropriate congressional committees
The term “appropriate congressional committees” means—
the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives; and
in the case of any determination made with respect to the taking of President 1
 So in original. Probably should be “Presidential”.
action under paragraphs (9) through (15) of section 6445(a) of this title, the term includes the committees described in subparagraph (A) and, where appropriate, the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.
Commensurate action

The term “commensurate action” means action taken by the President under section 6445(b) of this title.


The term “Commission” means the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom established in section 6431(a) of this title.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The term “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” means the annual reports required to be submitted by the Department of State to Congress under sections 2151n(d) and 2304(b) of this title.

Executive Summary

The term “Executive Summary” means the Executive Summary to the Annual Report, as described in section 6412(b)(1)(F) of this title.

Government or foreign government

The term “government” or “foreign government” includes any agency or instrumentality of the government.

Human Rights Reports

The term “Human Rights Reports” means all reports submitted by the Department of State to Congress under sections 2151n and 2304 of this title.

Institution of higher education

The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given that term in section 1001 of title 20.

Non-state actor
The term “non-state actor” means a nonsovereign entity that—
exercises significant political power and territorial control;
is outside the control of a sovereign government; and
often employs violence in pursuit of its objectives.

The term “Office” means the Office on International Religious Freedom established in section 6411(a) of this title.

Particularly severe violations of religious freedom
The term “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” means systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom, including violations such as—
torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment;
prolonged detention without charges;
causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction or clandestine detention of those persons; or
other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.
Special Adviser

The term “Special Adviser” means the Special Adviser to the President on International Religious Freedom described in section 3021(i) of title 50.2

 See References in Text note below.

Special Watch List

The term “Special Watch List” means the Special Watch List described in section 6442(b)(1)(A)(iii) of this title.

Violations of religious freedom
The term “violations of religious freedom” means violations of the internationally recognized right to freedom of religion and religious belief and practice, as set forth in the international instruments referred to in section 6401(a)(2) of this title and as described in section 6401(a)(3) of this title, including violations such as—
arbitrary prohibitions on, restrictions of, or punishment for—
assembling for peaceful religious activities such as worship, preaching, and prayer, including arbitrary registration requirements;
speaking freely about one’s religious beliefs;
changing one’s religious beliefs and affiliation;
not professing a particular religion, or any religion;
possession and distribution of religious literature, including Bibles; or
raising one’s children in the religious teachings and practices of one’s choice; or
any of the following acts if committed on account of an individual’s conscience, non-theistic views, or religious belief or practice: detention, interrogation, imposition of an onerous financial penalty, forced labor, forced mass resettlement, imprisonment, forced religious conversion, forcibly compelling non-believers or non-theists to recant their beliefs or to convert, beating, torture, mutilation, rape, enslavement, murder, and execution.
(Pub. L. 105–292, § 3, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2790; Pub. L. 114–281, § 3, Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1427.)
cite as: 22 USC 6402