Religious Freedom Summit outlines bipartisan efforts to combat religious persecution

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More than a thousand religious freedom advocates met Tuesday in Washington, D.C. for the start of the International Religious Freedom Summit. The event aims to highlight the global religious freedom movement by highlighting religious persecution around the world.

The event kicked off its pre-summit activities with an advocacy day in Congress that brings together legislators, ambassadors, and survivors of persecution.

IRF . Summit "Convocation Day in Congress" It saw more than 50 meetings of religious freedom advocates and survivors of persecution with members of Congress, such as this one with Texas representative Michael McCaul.

The IRF Summit’s “Day of Congressional Advocacy” saw more than 50 meetings of religious freedom advocates and survivors of persecution with members of Congress, such as this one with Texas Representative Michael McCaul.
(Courtesy of the IRF Summit.))

“We have people who don’t agree politically on anything, but they do agree on it,” Amjad Khan, who is co-chair of the Congressional Advocacy Day at the summit, told Fox News Digital.

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The IRF Summit will host speeches from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida.

“We carry a common message to join us in the fight for religious freedom for everyone, everywhere,” Khan added.

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, Christianity is followed by Islam and Judaism as the three most restricted (persecuted) religions.

The summit will host regional discussions that provide a global survey of the state of religious freedom, from the perspective of survivors and religious leaders, with a focus on regions that include the Middle East and South and Central Asia.

Taliban fighters stand guard during a women's protest in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 (AP Photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)

Taliban fighters stand guard during a women’s protest in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 (AP Photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)
(Associated Press/Ahmed Halbesaz)

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After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Christians and other religious minorities live in fear for their lives. A recent survey conducted by the religious advocacy group, Open Doors USA, ranked Afghanistan as the most dangerous place in the world to live as a Christian.

Khan added, “It’s very few things on Capitol Hill where people can come together to protect prisoners of conscience, speak out against religious persecution, focus on real life affected by genocide…”.

French Rep. Hill, Rep.-A. RL for Fox News Digital “Religious freedom, both in our country and around the world, has been a true point of bipartisanship.”

American professional basketball player, Enes Freedom, meets with supporters at the IRF Summit Breakfast.  (Courtesy of the IRF Summit).

American professional basketball player, Enes Freedom, meets with supporters at the IRF Summit Breakfast. (Courtesy of the IRF Summit).
(Courtesy of: IRF Summit)

He says the diversity of speakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo illustrates the “leading bipartisan role of America in maximizing each individual’s individual right, the natural right to religious tolerance for his or her faith or belief.”

The Arkansas Republican has been a staunch advocate of religious freedom globally and also in the United States as he has been working to lift government restrictions on church services, a problem that emerged at the height of the Covid pandemic.

“We all know the importance of the First Amendment, that it’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, which I think is always a great way to describe it here in our country,” he said.

Former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and IRF Summit Co-Chair Sam Brownback addresses "In solidarity with the oppressed" Happened during the IRF . Summit "Convocation Day in Congress" On Capitol Hill.  (Courtesy of the IRF Summit).

Former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and IRF Summit Co-Chair Sam Brownback addresses the “Solidarity with Persecuted” event during the IRF Summit’s “Day of Congressional Advocacy” on Capitol Hill. (Courtesy of the IRF Summit).

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Co-chairing the summit is Sam Brownback, who served as the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom under President Trump, and Katrina Lantos Sweet, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.

“We go beyond just walking with like-minded people and share our shared passion for this issue and truly bring it to offices and doorsteps, hopefully, to hearts and minds,” said Lantos Sweet.

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