Religious freedom is once again taking center stage, as officials, religious leaders and human rights advocates from across the world head for Washington, D.C., and the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. As many as 115 invited foreign ministers are expected to attend.
The three-day program beginning Tuesday, July 16, will address the challenges facing religious freedom and recommend best practices to advance religious freedom for all.
Speakers will include former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Vice President Mike Pence, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Also scheduled to address the Ministerial are Nobel laureate Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi woman held as a sex slave by Islamic State militants; American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who was freed after two years of detention in Turkey; and Rohingya Muslim representatives who fled Myanmar.
“There is no common theology in this discussion,” said U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback in describing the Ministerial, “but it is towards a common human right. And that human right is that everybody is entitled to be able to practice their faith peacefully and without fear.… We want to get the various faiths to bind together and to stand for each other’s freedom of religion.”
“The Church of Scientology endorses and supports the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable model and urges religious groups to work together in this model to help create world peace,” says Rev. Susan Taylor, Public Affairs Director of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. “All religions promote peace and by working together religions can create peace.”
Religious Freedom is a human right under Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The Church of Scientology supports religious freedom for all and has been working for decades with other religious groups to support those threatened, imprisoned, or suppressed for their religious beliefs,” says Rev. Taylor. “The Church of Scientology is proud to be a part of the 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, working with other faith groups and government officials to curb ongoing violations of religious freedom around the world.”
The Church will be hosting one of the side events of the Ministerial at Fraser Mansion, its D.C. headquarters.
Scientology has since its founding advocated total freedom for individuals and that includes the freedom to follow each person’s own religious beliefs.