State Department Releases 2017 International Religious Freedom Report
JuiceyEcumenism | Faith McDonnell | 060618
Last week the State Department Office of International Religious Freedom released the 2017 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback held a press conference on May 29 to announce the release. Following that, Ambassador Brownback provided a special briefing to unveil the massive report, which covers 200 countries and territories.
“This report is a testament to the United States’ historic role in preserving and advocating for religious freedom around the world,” Secretary Pompeo declared. His words called to mind not only the values of America’s founding fathers, but the legacy of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) that became law in 1998. With the passage of IRFA, concern for global religious freedom was enshrined in U.S. foreign policy in a way it had not been before.
Pompeo said, stressing that religious freedom, “is a right belonging to every individual on the globe” and assured that President Trump and Vice President Pence also stand “with those who yearn for religious liberty.”