The United States champions religious freedom as a cherished American value and unalienable right. Yet, this fundamental right is threatened around the world.
“We will not sit back as individuals are killed, jailed, harassed, or tortured for their faith,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in a statement commemorating International Religious Freedom Day on October 27. “We will stand with and for all those seeking to live out the dictates of their faiths.”
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act that made promoting religious freedom around the world a central focus of U.S. foreign policy.
The continuing attacks on #religiousfreedom around the world are appalling & unacceptable. We will unapologetically stand for survivors of persecution & confront countries who don’t protect the most fundamental of unalienable rights. We will not sit back. We will not be silent. pic.twitter.com/1pXiGZC2hx
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 27, 2019
The founders of the United States viewed religious freedom as a first freedom — not a creation of the state, but an unalienable birthright of human beings.
The majority of people in this world live in religiously restrictive environments. As we commemorate the 21st anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act, we reaffirm that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. https://t.co/3KoVI6ZGdY pic.twitter.com/Mh6ZP3pZYx
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) October 27, 2019
Religious freedom is not only vital for individuals and families, but is also a cornerstone of successful societies. “A government can never reach its full potential if individuals within its borders are marginalized or oppressed,” Pompeo said in the October 27 statement.
.@SecPompeo on International #ReligiousFreedom Day : We will stand with and for all those seeking to live out the dictates of their faiths. An attack on religious freedom anywhere is an affront to religious freedom everywhere. https://t.co/eHebojCICW pic.twitter.com/TIoKLfdUHz
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 27, 2019