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Remember Me

Posted by: thepinetree on 06/24/2019 09:54 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 06/24/2019 09:54 AM
Expires: 01/01/2024 12:00 AM

Michael R. Pompeo at the Release of the 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

Washington, DC...Good afternoon, everyone. I’m proud to be here today to speak about the State Department’s ongoing mission to advance international religious freedom. This mission is not just a Trump administration priority – it’s a deeply personal one. For many years, I was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon at my church. And that might sound unusual to a lot of folks inside the Beltway. But I am one of millions of Americans, and billions of people across the world, who live in the knowledge of a higher power. I often humbly reflect on how God’s providence has guided me to this office, to defend this cause. I think about how, as an American, I’ve been blessed to enjoy the unfettered exercise of religious freedom, our first liberty here in the United States.

But in much of the world, governments and groups deny individuals that same unalienable right. People are persecuted – handcuffed, thrown in jail, even killed – for their decision to believe, or not to believe. For worshipping according to their conscience. For teaching their children about their faith. For speaking about their beliefs in public. For gathering in private, as so many of us have done, to study the Bible, the Torah, or the Qu’ran.

Go into any mosque, any church, any temple in America, and you’ll hear the same thing: Americans believe that kind of intolerance is deeply wrong.

That’s why the Trump Administration has promoted religious freedom like never before in our foreign policy agenda. Given our own great freedoms, it’s a distinctly American responsibility to stand up for faith in every nation’s public square.

So today, I’m pleased to announce that, here at the State Department, we’re elevating the Office of International Religious Freedom, along with the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, within our organization.

Effective immediately, each of these two offices will report directly to the under secretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights.

Sam Brownback, the ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, will continue to report directly to me.

This reorganization will provide these offices with additional staff and resources, and enhance partnerships both within our agency – within our agency and without. It will empower them to better carry out their important mandates.

Second: I’m pleased to announce the religious – the release of the religious – International Religious Freedom Report for 2018. It’s like a report card – it tracks countries to see how well they’ve respected this fundamental human right. I’ll start with the good news:

In Uzbekistan, much work still remains to be done, but for the first time in 13 years, it’s no longer designated as a Country of Particular Concern.

This past year, the government passed a religious freedom roadmap. Fifteen hundred religious prisoners have been freed, and 16,000 people that were blacklisted for their religious affiliations are now allowed to travel. We look forward to seeing legal reforms to registration requirements, so more groups may worship freely, and so children may pray at mosques with their parents.

In Pakistan, the supreme court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Catholic, of blasphemy, sparing her the death penalty after she spent nearly a decade in prison. However, more than 40 others remain jailed for life, or face execution on that very same charge. We continue to call for their release, and encourage the government to appoint an envoy to address the various religious freedom concerns.

And in Turkey, at President Trump’s urging, they released Pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been wrongfully imprisoned on account of his faith. We continue to seek the release of our locally employed staff there. In addition, we urge the immediate reopening of the Halki Seminary near Istanbul.

Look, we welcome all of these glimmers of progress, but demand much more. 2018, unfortunately, was far from perfect.

As in previous years, our report exposes a chilling array of abuses committed by oppressive regimes, violent extremist groups, and individual citizens. For all those that run roughshod over religious freedom, I’ll say this: The United States is watching and you will be held to account.

In Iran, the regime’s crackdown on the Baha’is, Christians, and others continues to shock the conscience.

In Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses were absurdly and abhorrently branded as terrorists, as authorities confiscated their property and then threatened their families.

In Burma, Rohingya Muslims continue to face violence at the hands of the military. Hundreds of thousands have fled or been forced to live in overcrowded refugee camps.

And in China, the government’s intense persecution of many faiths – Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, and Tibetan Buddhists among them – is the norm.

The Chinese Communist Party has exhibited extreme hostility to all religious faiths since its founding. The party demands that it alone be called God.

I had a chance to meet with some Uighurs here, but unfortunately, most Chinese Uighurs don’t get a chance to tell their stories. That’s why, in an effort to document the staggering scope of religious freedom abuses in Xinjiang, we’ve added a special section to this year’s China report.

History will not be silent about these abuses – but only if voices of liberty like ours record it.

Finally, I’ll mention just one more reason this report matters so much: It will inspire conversations leading up to our second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom that I’ll be hosting here in mid-July.

This year, we’ll welcome up to 1,000 individuals who will renew their zeal for the mission of religious freedom, and I’m proud to be one of them.

I’m crossing the days off my calendar waiting for this. Last year was the first time in history that there had been such a foreign-ministerial level conference on religious freedom.

We brought together representatives and activists and religious leaders from virtually every corner of the world. It was truly a stunning show of unity – people of all faiths standing up for the most basic of all human rights. It was so successful that I immediately committed to hosting it the next year on the very day.

Look, the good work that was done didn’t stop at the end of that conference. Both the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan demonstrated impressive leadership by hosting follow-on conferences. And the International Religious Freedom Fund, which we launched to support victims of persecution and give groups the tools to respond, has already received millions of dollars. I’m looking forward to this year’s ministerial being inspiring, and I know that it will be.

And I’ll now turn it over to my friend and our Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, to take your questions. Thank you, all.

Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at
Religious Nut
Posted on: 2019-06-24 10:19:20   By: Anonymous
This guy is an end timer, and is working very hard to make it so.
The question is are the majority of Americans agreeing with a radical religious nut who yearns for Armageddon?
I don't think so.
The alliance between the end timers and the military in the US was seen in the Iraq, Afghanistan wars.
How'd the messianic view work out?
As Colin Powell warned bush chenney, "you will open up the gates of hell".
And they did. What was accomplished? it backfired, and Iran became the chief influence in Iraq.

All those who support this madness are either mentally ill, or naive to the point of psychosis .

[Reply ]

    Re: Religious Nut
    Posted on: 2019-06-24 12:13:31   By: Anonymous
    But those who are in favor of killing unborn humans on demand are righteous and kind right?

    [Reply ]

      Re: Religious Nut
      Posted on: 2019-06-24 15:02:32   By: Anonymous
      False equivalence. Whataboutism. Don't pretend to care about kids and ignore what's happening at baby jails on the border. No beds no soap no toothbrushes and full on neglect.

      [Reply ]

        Re: Religious Nut
        Posted on: 2019-06-24 15:20:50   By: Anonymous
        Dead people vs tooth brushes. One is solvable other is criminal

        [Reply ]

          Re: Religious Nut
          Posted on: 2019-06-25 08:07:06   By: Anonymous
          There are dead children in the border camps, too. One crime does not allow for the other.

          [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2019-06-24 10:48:52   By: Anonymous
Because Trump has served so well as a shining example of acceptance and tolerance of those with different beliefs or lifestyles. ;)

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2019-06-24 13:02:53   By: Anonymous
    Thank God we have Trump. Imagine if Obama was still President? N Korea would probably of Nuked us or Japan already. Obama would of given Iraq a 100 BILLION MORE DOLLARS and the plans for Ballistic missiles for their nuclear war heads. Our Economy would still be stagnate with the DOW at 22,000 or under. Unemployment would still be high, and a jellyfish would still have more of a backbone then that spineless POS

    [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2019-06-24 13:52:15   By: Anonymous
    I agree, President Trump is a shining example. For comparison, look at the Clintons, our Electors even said no way will we let that corrupt family back into OUR White House ever again and embarrass us with their corruption and lies. Now if you want to win the presidency one will have to do what this President has done, and that is fight lying politicians like the Clintons and most of the democrats like the ones who were in the collusion hoax. We want to drain this sresge pit of corrupt politicians, these people who have been playing the Democratic voters with low IQ"s, the ones who are so stupid they have a hard time trying to walk because they're chewing gum at the same time.
    The politicians who rely on democrats to vote them in office have had it made for years, now we have an outsider in the WH who is for The American people NOT himself and this is just another reason that Americans are loving this President more everyday and TRUMP WILL WIN in 2020 by a landslide.
    Thank you for being so tough and honest Mr President, now for others to even have a chance they'll have to follow your example and NOT the example of another corrupt and lying Democrat
    Trump has been a God send to america

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2019-06-24 15:04:27   By: Anonymous
      Trump is a lying criminal. A fraud.

      [Reply ]

        Re: /\/\ Trump is a lying criminal
        Posted on: 2019-06-24 15:31:23   By: Anonymous
        Lets MAGA! Go Trump 2020!

        [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2019-06-25 08:10:37   By: Anonymous
      You’re mistaken. Trump’s core base like you may still support him but most have lost their passion. He has nothing further to deliver and that will be his undoing. This is an ADHD crowd who only want the next thing with no understanding of the bigger picture or even how the greater economy works.

      [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2019-06-24 16:48:15   By: Anonymous

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2019-06-25 06:37:31   By: Anonymous
      When this administration never tells the truth. That’s a problem. The entire world does not believe a word they say. Let’s look a Sarah Sanders, Mike Pence. Kellyann. And then there is the Donald himself. A complete liar. So embarrassing. This fool has taken America down . Tax cuts for super wealthy. Attacking the free press. Doing business with a country that murdered a journalist. Disgusting

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2019-06-25 06:46:55   By: Anonymous
        Jered’s was trying to help Saudi Arabia weather the storm. That might tell you his plan for the Middle East. If you pay 50 billion to salve the problem, do you think that money goes anywhere but straight into the pockets for these ruthless killers. This administration is so incredibly stupid.

        [Reply ]

On a different note...
Posted on: 2019-06-25 08:16:41   By: Anonymous
Looking. At the concert pics above, there are an incredible amount of truly overweight people in Calaveras and perhaps the Central Valley. These photos could be an example of what lack of quality health care looks like. My doctor would call me on the weight as well as run the labs for pre-diabetes, etc. during an annual checkup. What happens when you only visit the doc when you are hurt or ill. Sad because many could be ticking time bombs, health-wise.

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2019-06-25 08:53:35   By: Anonymous
Trump just threatened Iran with Oliteration.” Peace loving, my azzz.

[Reply ]

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