Pompeo will Host Gathering to Advance Religious Freedom Around the World in July

By Office of the President-elect [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The May 29 announcement puts the issue right at the heart of the U.S. human rights agenda.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be the host of the international “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom” meeting. The subject of this meeting will be religious freedom. The May 29 announcement puts the issue right at the heart of the U.S. human rights agenda. The event will span two days, July 25 and July 26 in Washington. This will probably be good news for evangelical Christians supporting President Donald J. Trump. Many such evangelicals worry about Christians being persecuted all over the world. This event also brings up tough questions concerning the sincerity of the GOP administration on this issue. This is vital as President Trump has pledged in his election campaign to ban Muslims from setting foot on U.S. soil.

According to the White House, the event will see the participation of chief diplomats coming from "like-minded governments." The Trump administration was criticized earlier for subsuming human rights in global relations. Such rights have been abandoned and substituted by U.S. economic interest. However. Christian conservatives like Vice President Mike Pence and Pompeo have made their feelings known and ardently supported religious freedom all over the globe.

Pompeo announced all plans for this gathering on May 29 as he launched the yearly report about global religious freedom. He described this ministerial meeting as a first in any category. Pompeo pledged this group will act and not sit around engaged in discussions. He added that his office would identify feasible ways to fight against persecution and to “ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.”

Speaking to reporters, Pompeo said the ministerial would be his first to host as Secretary of State. He admitted that this move was an intentional one. Pompeo continued, “religious freedom is indeed a universal human right that I will fight for, one that our team at the department will continue to fight for, and one that I know President Trump will continue to fight for.”

The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large deputed to international religious freedom, Sam Brownback, did not say the names of countries whose foreign ministers will arrive in the United States after being invited by the White House. Brownback faced questions, particularly about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally which practices and propagates a conservative strain of Islam.

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