This Tuesday through Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.
Leaders of international groups, faith leaders, rights advocates and members of civil society groups will gather at the State Department in Washington. They will discuss ways to address persecution and discrimination of religious groups worldwide. Vice President Mike Pence and Ambassador Sam Brownback will also speaking at the event.
Sounding the Clarion Call
Tony Perkins, on his show Washington Watch, interviewed Pompeo Thursday about the ministerial and what he hopes to accomplish.
Pompeo said it was “incredibly important” for the Trump’s administration to “sound the clarion call” for religious freedom worldwide. “There are many countries in which religious freedom is not available. …We believe that religious freedom is important for every citizen around the world and we want to bring everyone together to discuss how all faiths have the right … to worship in the way that they choose, or if they choose not to. And every country ought to honor that.”
Pompeo expects the ministerial to be “far more” than just talking. He hopes that the event will empower people to go back to their countries and advocate for religious freedom. “We are hopeful that the State Department, here in the United States, can lead a process where religious freedom is raised as a priority for the citizens of every country.” He promised that it would be a mission of the State Department every day.
“This was laid out in the president’s National Security Strategy, which is unique and different from previous administrations. We do place a high priority on religious freedom and we will continue to fight for it every place that we travel.”
There is a waiting list for people hoping to attend the ministerial. Pompeo considers it a blessing. “We’re going to do our best to accomnodate each and every one of them.”
Preparing for the Ministerial
Pompeo said there is a number of things that people can do in preparation for the ministerial. “[T]hose of us who believe in faith and prayer can pray. I think it’s important for every individual to demand of their elected officials that they consider religious freedom among one of their priorities as they seek to lead and be part of government service.” He added that there are dozens of NGOs fighting for religious freedom that people can support.
The ministerial will take place July 24-26. Please be in prayer for those who are fighting for worldwide religious freedom.
Nancy is an Associate Editor at The Stream. She is currently working toward her PhD in Strategic Communication and Journalism at Regent University. She’s the mother of four boys.