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US Secretary of State: Religious Freedom Matter to Billions of World’s People

‘We’re here because each of us believes that religious freedom must be upheld, protected, and advanced.’

The second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom — July 16-18, 2019 in Washington — drew a much bigger crowd than the first event a year ago.  That might not seem like headline news but it isn’t because there was more publicity, nicer hotel rooms, better food, or a lavish side tour to Disney World.

“The astounding growth proves a simple matter,” according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “It proves that religious freedom matters to literally billions of people all around the world. Look around you. Religious freedom isn’t just a Christian concern, a Jewish concern, a Muslim concern, a Buddhist concern, a Hindu concern, or a humanist concern. It’s all of our concern; it is everyone’s concern.”

Pompeo’s comments came during his keynote address on July 18, during which he noted that some of those attending “have been persecuted for your faith, cast out from society, banished from your homes. If you are here as a survivor of persecution, I want you to know you are among friends today.

“We’re here because each of us believes that religious freedom must be upheld, protected, and advanced. But it’s important to understand where that belief comes from.”

As part of the Ministerial, the United States government presented several Statements of Concern to the country delegations participating. These Statements of Concern highlight some of the most pressing issues impacting religious freedom around the world and particular countries where religious freedom is under serious threat.  Participating countries were given the opportunity to join these Statements of Concern to demonstrate their shared concern on these key issues. You can see the various statements at the links following and see which delegations joined in support of each statement.

For more information and for the most updated list of co-signatories, please visit www.state.gov/religiousfreedom.


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