Protecting religious freedom: ‘Inaction is not an option’

“Where religious freedom is protected, other freedoms may also flourish,” Sam Brownback, ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said July 15.

Abdul Shakoor, an Ahmadi Muslim from Pakistan, at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington as part of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. (© Joel Mason-Gaines, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Abdul Shakoor, an Ahmadi Muslim from Pakistan, at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington as part of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. (© Joel Mason-Gaines, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Brownback spoke in the Hall of Remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington at an opening event for the U.S. Department of State’s second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The ministerial meeting is bringing together hundreds of religious leaders, governments, survivors of religious persecution and civil society organizations July 16 to 18.

The United States is committed to “protecting this common human right,” the ambassador told survivors of religious persecution. “Inaction is not an option.”

The Holocaust Museum memorializes the genocide of Jews during World War II and hosts programs to counter religious persecution and prevent genocide.

“This right to believe or not to believe is core to who we are as humans,” Brownback said. “This is the place for us to remember. But not just remember — to act as well.”


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