According to Fox News Digital, the State Dept. is refusing to disclose to House Republicans which foreign atheist organizations have received funding from the US government.
Republican sources with knowledge of the situation told the publication that Mariah Mercer of the State Dept.’s Office of International Religious Freedom refused to reveal which atheist organizations are receiving funding abroad, claiming “security concerns.”
“The sources said that the grants give more money to atheists than to non-atheists, and that most of the money goes to people and groups in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, which are all mostly Muslim,” the report said.
The most recent report was released months after House Republicans wrote to the State Department to inquire about Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, regarding a plan to give grants of up to $500,000 in taxpayer money to “organizations devoted to the propagation and practice of atheism and humanism, particularly in Central/South Asia and the Middle East/North Africa.”
The State Department, according to sources, has been “stonewalling” them regarding the grant program for six months, claiming that they are “working on it” when requested to construct a list of nations to whom the award money is being distributed to.
In addition, the report claims that when questioned about the awards themselves, State Department officials “cited security concerns” and “refused to reveal how they measured success in the program. The agency assured legislators and employees that the funds are intended to defend the religious liberties of atheists in other nations, but they still haven’t indicated who will receive the money after six months.”
When Republicans take control of the House in 2023, they plan to use their oversight authority to subpoena the State Department for the information.
The call was arranged by Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Banks, who told Fox News Digital that “6 months and many letters later, the Biden State Department is still suppressing fundamental facts concerning their support of atheism overseas.”
“They are well aware that the specifics will enrage American taxpayers, and they are concerned that they would expose the program as unlawful,” Republican Study Committee (RSC) Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) stated. “Congress handed them this money, but we’re evidently not permitted to know which nations are receiving it—it’s absurd.”
“In just a few weeks, Republicans will reclaim the majority, and we must use the mandatory process to force the Biden State Department to produce this evidence,” he concluded.