As pro-democracy protests entered a second week in Iran, leading U.S. religious liberty officials threw their support behind the protesters. 

 In an open letter to the “Iranian people” made public Jan. 11, a bipartisan, interfaith group of current and past heads of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) decried the government’s violent crackdown, which has left 20 protesters dead and hundreds jailed. 

 “When Iranians rose up against their oppressors in 2009, too few supported them in a sustained and meaningful way,” they wrote. “Please be assured that in 2018 we are doing everything we can to ensure your freedom.”rnIn their letter, they urged governments and businesses to provide communication technologies to the Iranian people and to resist the government’s efforts to censor and shut down social media platforms, such as WhatsApp. rnCatholic signers of the letter Daniel Mark of Villanova University, Robert George of Princeton, Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society and Father Thomas Reese, SJ.