Washington Free Beacon | 042918 | VIDEO
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback released the 2017 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom at the State Department on Tuesday.
Pompeo spoke of the core role of religious freedom in the United States and the administration’s goal of supporting religious freedom around the world.
“Religious freedom is in the American bloodstream. It’s what brought the pilgrims here from England. Our founders understood it as our first freedom,” Pompeo said. “That is why they articulated it so clearly in the First Amendment. As James Madison wrote years before he was president or secretary of state, quote, ‘conscience is the most sacred of all property.’”
“Religious freedom was vital to America’s beginning. Defending it is critical to our future,” he added.
Pompeo went on to state that promoting religious freedom was a priority of the Trump administration.
“Religious freedom is not only ours. It is a right belonging to every individual on the globe,” Pompeo said. “President Trump stands with those who yearn for religious liberty. Our vice president stands with them, and so do I … As our National Security Strategy so clearly states: ‘Our Founders understood religious freedom not as the state’s creation, but as the gift of God to every person and a fundamental right for a flourishing society.'”
The department is mandated by law to release the annual report, which reviews the state of religious freedom in each country around the world for the year prior.