A new International Religious Freedom Alliance with 27 member states was announced on Wednesday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo said that the alliance would include “like-minded partners who treasure, and fight for, international religious freedom for every human being.”
According to the alliance’s official description, it “will advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all, which includes the right of individuals to hold any belief or none, to change religion or belief and to manifest religion or belief, either alone or in community with others, in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
Twenty-seven countries have signed on as members of the alliance—Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, The Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Together, we say that freedom of religion or belief is not a Western ideal, but truly the bedrock of societies,” Pompeo stated on Wednesday, adding that it is outlined in the alliance’s Declaration of Principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The alliance was necessitated by a number of developments, a senior State Department official explained at a Wednesday press conference.
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