In photos: Religious freedom around the world

The United States will always fight for religious freedom across the globe. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo notes that more than 80 percent of people live where religious freedom is suppressed or denied entirely.

“Religious freedom is a foundational American value,” Pompeo said at the 2019 Ministerial To Advance Religious Freedom. “It is a universal and unalienable right that should be afforded to all, not just a privileged few.”

These photos feature places of worship and people practicing their faiths the world over.

Ramadan prayer

Silhouette of woman praying in front of stained glass window (© Aaron Favila/AP Images)
A Filipino Muslim woman enters a mosque to pray during the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Sikh shrine

Man lighting candles in front of body of water and shrine (© Sanjeev Syal/AP Images)
A Sikh devotee lights candles and lamps at the Golden Temple, Sikh’s holiest shrine, illuminated on the occasion of the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Ram Das in Amritsar, India, on October 9, 2013. (© Sanjeev Syal/AP Images)

Ancient Hindu festival

Group of people in brightly colored scarves walking away from camera (© Anupam Nath/AP Images)
Hindu devotees perform rituals in the Brahmaputra River during the Chhath Puja festival in Guwahati, India, on October 26, 2017. (© Anupam Nath/AP Images)

 Holy ground

Man in white garment with walking stick standing on rock formation (© Neil Thomas/ Barcroft Images/Getty Images)
A holy man stands among the cliffs in Tigray, deep in northeast Ethiopia, on November 11, 2016. Churches are carved directly into the rocks and caves of the area’s dry terrain. (© Neil Thomas/Barcroft Images/Getty Images)

Marking the birth of the Buddha

Worshippers streaming out of temple lighted yellow at night (© Manish Bandari/AP Images)
Thai Buddhist monks and devotees participate in a procession for Buddha Purnima, the sacred festival that commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. This procession is at Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, India, on May 24, 2013. (© Manish Bandari/AP Images)

Christmas Eve

Close-up of woman in white head scarf gazing upward (© Khaled DesoukI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Egyptian Coptic woman attends the Christmas Eve mass at the Nativity of Christ Cathedral outside Cairo on January 6, 2018. (© Khaled DesoukI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bahá’í Lotus Temple

Temple with curved walls and birds flying overhead (© Dmitry Strizhakov/Shutterstock)
Birds fly overhead in this undated photo of the Bahá’í Lotus Temple in New Delhi. (© Dmitry Strizhakov/Shutterstock)

The ritual of Tashlich

Man reading to boy, silhouetted against sun (© Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays along the Mediterranean Sea in the Israeli city of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, on September 21, 2015, as part of the ritual of Tashlich, performed during the Rosh Hashanah celebration. (© Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)