Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced Thursday a new creation of the International Religious Freedom Alliance, which will tackle the issue of persecution for countries around the world. An estimated 900 of foreign ministers took turns conversing about ways their nations are working to vow religious liberty. It continued with two days of meetings where survivors shared their stories of being persecuted.
Pompeo was impressed by the growth of this year’s ministerial with hundreds more in participation in comparison to last year. He believes it proves religious freedom matters to everyone around the world, and that’s why he decided to take a crucial next step. Pompeo hopes the alliance will bring countries together outside of this annual conference.
The International Religious Freedom Alliance has been put in place to hold accountable countries who deny citizens the right to practice their faith freely.
“It will provide a space for the work that we do here to flourish throughout the year,” Pompeo stated.
“The United States stands with all victims of religious persecution, and the American people have them in our hearts and our prayers,” stated Pence.
Pompeo went through a list of reported cases of religious persecution. The Cuban government prevented their representatives from boarding their flights last weekend to travel to Washington, D.C. to express their religious freedom, Pompeo noted. “Such is the thuggish intolerant nature of the current regime in Havana.” He went on to naming China, the worst offender of religious freedom. “It is truly the stain of the century.” Since 2017, the Chinese government has detained over one million Muslims and other minorities.” In China, the Chinese communist party demands control over the lives of the Chinese people and their souls”- Pompeo explained.
From the Oval Office, the President heard first hand some of the stories of religious persecution. A man from Pakistan told President Trump.” I can call myself a Muslim in the United States of America, but not in Pakistan. Otherwise, I’ll be punished.”
“Today, I’m announcing that the United States has placed sanctions on two leaders of Iranian-backed militias for all they’ve done.” Pence declared -“We will hold them accountable.”
Pompeo said to those who came in spite of that pressure, “We salute you. To those who bowed to the pressure and didn’t come, we take note.”