International Religious Freedom Awards Ceremony


SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Ambassador Brownback. Good evening, everyone. For those of you just coming, there’s room
on this side over here. It is great to see you all, so many people
gathering to advance religious freedom. I think Secretary Azar is here too from HHS,
another ally in this fight for religious freedom. I also want to extend a very special welcome
to the faithful gathered here, to civil society and religious leaders, and to the foreign
ministers and various heads of delegation who have joined us for this great series of
events here. Thank you too for everything you’ve done
to make these first two days so special and a success. You are all truly on the front lines of freedom. And by gathering here today, this evening,
you’re making history. This is the second time we’ve done this
here at the State Department. It is the largest human rights gathering ever
at the State Department. (Applause.) Your presence here underscores the fact that
faith matters. That the right to worship, to assemble, to
practice, and to teach one’s faith is undeniable and that we have a responsibility, as civilized
people who care about freedom, to protect it in every way that we can. We have our work cut out for us; you all know
that. The people on this stage know this better
than I do, and you’ll hear in many sessions at the ministerial this very thing. From the Islamic Republic of Iran, to China,
to Cuba, and beyond, violations of religious freedom remain all too common and all too
far widespread. President Trump’s administration has made
the protection of unalienable rights like religious freedom a real priority. And I’ve talked about this in many settings
and at length, and my colleagues have worked hard to put time and resources towards rallying
our friends and partners to this important cause. We’ve decided that nothing short of an all-out,
all-of-government effort is necessary. Two, we’re working hard to inspire grassroots
movements to push for change in every nation, every country in the world where religious
freedom is being violated. More and more people are hearing that call. They’re stepping up in their own communities
around the world and saying that they too are ready to fight for this important freedom. I’m especially honored tonight to share
the stage with the men and women who have demonstrated how much each one of us is capable
of in advancing this noble shared cause. If the future of religious freedom rests on
solid ground, it’s because of people who are sharing the stage with me tonight. To say that each of them is brave is a gross
understatement. To say their work is tough does not go nearly
far enough. Each of them has a story, a story which Ambassador
Brownback will tell us a little bit about in a moment. Each of them is known for their extraordinary
advocacy efforts. They’ve risked their own reputation, their
personal comfort, their own well-being, and in some cases even their lives to help strangers,
many of whom practice faiths that are different from their own. Hailing from diverse countries, working as
lawyers, working as diplomats, imams, directors of NGOs, they share a common mission: to protect
religious minorities and defend religious freedom and unalienable rights. I don’t want to steal Ambassador Brownback’s
thunder – he has more to say about these extraordinary men and women. But I do want to emphasize one more thing
about them: No one on the stage with me here tonight sought the spotlight. I could not be more humbled and honored to
recognize their actions tonight with the first-ever set of international religious freedom awards. I hope that, through these awards, we inspire
others to do their part. The world needs more ordinary citizens doing
these remarkably extraordinary things. To all of our honorees, thank you for everything
you’ve done, God bless you, and I’ll now turn it back over to Ambassador Brownback. Thank you all. (Applause.)

10 thoughts on “International Religious Freedom Awards Ceremony

  • When "God bless America" is as accepted as "God is great"
    I'll believe religious freedom exists in America.
    From what I've seen every religion is protected EXCEPT Christianity.
    Christians are still persecuted for their beliefs.
    They are told their lives don't matter.
    If Muslims are killed it's a tragedy
    If Christians are killed meh, whatever.
    They are told to "bake the cake"
    When no other faith would be asked to do something against their beliefs.
    A Muslim bakery demanded to participate in a gay wedding, never.
    A Jewish bakery demanded to do work on the sabbath, never.
    Hindus forced to kill cows, never.
    Every faith is respected in America except one.
    Change that before you try to change the world.

  • In addition to freedom of religion, there ought to be freedom of non-religion as well. Atheists are hunted down in many countries even today. What you should aim for is freedom of conscience.

  • Christians are the most persecuted of all religious groups. This is swept under the rug of most western civilization, as this would impede the ongoing goal of globalization. The persecution statistics are horrific: More than 300 people are murdered monthly throughout the world because of their Christian faith. Two hundred houses of worship are destroyed monthly. Approximately 800 incidents of violence are committed monthly. 4,136 Christians were slaughtered in 2018 in violent attacks, but the number is likely substantially higher as so many go unreported and hidden. Pew Center, an American secular research organization, estimates more than 75 percent of the world’s population lives in areas of rampant religious persecution, mostly against Christians.

  • Please
    Protect the Christian's
    It is said that
    Christian's are persecuted and killed in the middle East , China , ..etc.

    USA ( and Russia . because ,. In Obama age , Putin told that he would protect the Christians who were killed by IS …)need to strongly support the Christian's and protect them….

  • Pompeo is a war criminal and should be brought before the court the Hague for crimes against humanity for killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan whilst he was head of the CIA when Afghanistan citizens were being tortured by Americans

  • I SUPPORT THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION & UNVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOMS. ESPECIALLY THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

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