Commemoration of International Religious Freedom Day
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRF Act) into law, the US Department of State released a press statement.
In the statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed that „the IRF Act expanded U.S. foreign policy capabilities to promote and defend religious freedom around the world”. He went on saying that the freedom of individuals „to believe as they see fit is a God-given right that is central to the success of a nation”.
Mr Pompeo reaffirmed the „inherent worth and dignity found in every person, who are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.
International Religious Freedom Day was also commemorated by the UK Government.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who was appointed in July as the Prime Minister’s special envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, praised those who stand up for the right to exercise faith freely.
He said: “I am committed and I shall continue to push for a world where people of all faiths and none can live their lives free of discrimination, free of fear, free of persecution.”
In a video released by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office – where he serves as a minister of state – Lord Ahmad said
it was right to remember those “who have suffered and continue to suffer” for their faith.
He added: “We salute those who stand courageously for these rights, who promote tolerance and respect between communities, different faiths and religions.”