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Santorum First Candidate to Sign Pledge for Religious Freedom

Contact: Emily Fuentes, Open Doors USA, 949-413-6721, EmilyF@odusa.org

SANTA ANA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Sen. Rick Santorum issued a press release on Friday, February 3, noting he was the first and only candidate to sign the Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom.

The Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom was drafted by Open Doors USA and Professor Tom Farr of Georgetown University, an esteemed international religious freedom expert. It has been co-signed by prominent religious leaders and groups such as: the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Stuart Epperson of Salem Communications, Richard Bott of Bott Radio Network and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptists Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

The pledge states that the candidate will protect religious freedom in full for all Americans, and will advance international religious freedom as part of American foreign policy.

"Open Doors USA is grateful for Sen. Santorum's principled stance on religious freedom and hope that his support for this pledge will bring more attention to an issue that has been largely neglected in the GOP Presidential debates, as well as by most of the candidates in their campaigning," says Lindsay Vessey- Advocacy Director for Open Doors USA. "We sincerely hope other presidential candidates will join Senator Santorum in pledging their support for religious freedom in the Unites States and abroad."

"Open Doors USA is a non-profit organization and does not endorse or support any specific candidate or party. The Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom was sent to all primary presidential candidates of each party, and a follow-up letter was sent to each campaign headquarters. As possible, Open Doors USA also followed-up multiple times by email with various campaign staff. To view a list of candidates who have received the pledge, please view the pledge website at www.PledgeforReligiousFreedom.com. Several primary GOP candidates who suspended their campaigns have been removed from the site. These candidates include: Cain, Bachmann, Perry, and Huntsman. A list of endorsing organizations can also be viewed on the pledge site."

Nearly 70 percent of the world's 6.8 billion people live in countries with little or no freedom of religion. Open Doors is an organization that for over five decades has covertly come alongside Christians in 50 of these restrictive, dangerous countries, campaigning for the freedom to believe from the gulags in North Korea to the halls of Congress. Open Doors' outreach to more than 100 million persecuted believers includes delivery of Bibles and other materials, training of indigenous leaders in the Word, Christian community development, prayer and advocacy. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

Please direct press inquiries to Emily Fuentes at 949-413-6721 or at emilyf@odusa.org.