State Dept.'s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Could be a Turning Point for Millions

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2018 – Today, the State Department will host the first-ever "Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom”. The event will be held July 24 – 26, bringing together government officials, representatives of international organizations, religious leaders, rights advocates, and members of civil society organizations from around the world.

Coinciding with the Ministerial, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will host a reception at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Wednesday, July 25, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). On Thursday, July 26, USCIRF will also host a grant workshop for civil society organizations seeking to learn how to apply for U.S. government funding.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who also serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, will attend the Ministerial and offered the following comments:

“Three months into his new job as secretary, Mike Pompeo has put his stamp on plenty of foreign policy. But this decision to bring the world together on one of the greatest human rights crises of our time could be a turning point for millions of people. Considering that religious freedom cuts against instability and decreases the likelihood of terrorism, everyone in the world has a stake in the Ministerial succeeding.

“Of course, just because leaders sit down and talk about it doesn’t mean the problem of religious persecution will just magically disappear. But it could go a long way to starting a dialogue in some countries that, until now, have been very unwilling to discuss the topic.

“After the eight years of the Obama administration, we’re more appreciative than ever for President Trump’s emphasis on religious liberty. With all of the issues competition for the world’s attention, Americans are grateful the White House isn’t overlooking one of the most important,” concluded Perkins.

To listen to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, click this link: