Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award
Celebrating champions of human freedom and dignity
Since it was launched in 2018, the Frank Wolf Religious Freedom Award has recognized outstanding champions who stand up to oppression, even at great personal risk, in the pursuit of freedom of religion, belief or conscience.
The Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award identifies and honors those who embody Congressman Frank Wolf, who has worked tirelessly for decades to promote international religious freedom and who later served as Distinguished Senior Fellow at 21Wilberforce. Known as the House’s “champion of human rights” and the “conscience of Congress,” he served Virginia’s 10th District for 17 terms from 1981 until January 2015.
While in Congress, he was the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan organization that works to raise awareness about international human rights issues.
Congressman Wolf has traveled the globe extensively to better understand the plight of the poor and oppressed, including much of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In Sudan, he led the first congressional delegation to Darfur to bring attention to the genocide there. He has also worked to call attention to the human rights abuses and religious persecution in the People’s Republic of China, Tibet, Romania, Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Nigeria, and the Middle East.
Congressman Wolf championed and co-authored the International Religious Freedom Act, which infused religious freedom into U.S. foreign policy by creating the International Religious Freedom Office at the State Department headed by an Ambassador-at-Large. It also established the bipartisan, independent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as both a watchdog of repressive regimes and a truth-teller to the State Department.