The International Religious Freedom Alliance was created under US Department of State auspices, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a gala dinner dedicated to this event on February 6, the State Department press service reported.
Speaking at a celebratory meeting in the State Department’s reception hall, the Secretary of State congratulated the guests on an event that has long been expected, and said that the new formation is an alliance of “like-minded partners who treasure, and fight for, international religious freedom for every human being”.
Mike Pompeo brought to mind that preparations for the creation of the alliance had been underway since July of last year, when he had announced the organization of such a structure at the second Ministerial conference on the promotion of religious freedom.
Pompeo also indicated that he had just returned from a trip to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where he met with representatives of local churches and discussed the protection of religious freedom. He noted that he had met understanding in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
“This is a real mission,” Pompeo declared. “We’re proud to champion this American value, we think a global value.”
The US Secretary of state blamed a number of states for oppressing religious freedoms and communities, equating such oppression to terrorism, and the states themselves that “target religious minorities” to terrorist states. In particular, he highlighted the problems of Yazidis in Iraq, Hindus in Pakistan, Christians in Nigeria, and Muslims in Burma.
Special attention was directed at China, where, according to the Secretary of State, the situation with religious freedoms is extremely bad. “And we condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s hostility to all faiths,” said Mike Pompeo. “We know,” he continued, addressing the audience, “several of you courageously pushed back against Chinese pressure by agreeing to be part of this Alliance, and we thank you for that.”
Mike Pompeo outlined the scale of the challenges facing the new alliance. “Indeed, we must affirm, and fight for, that truth now more than ever.” he said. “More than eight in ten people in the world today live where they cannot practice their faith freely.”
The new alliance will include representatives from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency