U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain traveled to Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from May 11-15, 2022.
In Riyahd, Ambassador Hussain attended the Forum on Promoting Common Values among the Followers of Religion. There, he met with ministers of religious affairs and civil society, in attendance, including the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Secretary General of the Muslim World League. For the first time in Saudi Arabia, the event convened representatives from Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist faith traditions alongside Islamic leaders to explore shared values and a common global vision for interfaith cooperation. Leaders from faith communities from around the world, many of whom had never visited Saudi Arabia, also attended. Ambassador Hussain spoke with attendees on the urgent need for the international community to protect religious freedom worldwide, repeal and cease enforcement of blasphemy and apostasy laws, confront crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs and Rohingya, and support the empowerment of marginalized communities, including women and girls.
Ambassador Hussain also traveled to Jeddah, where he met with Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) officials and members, including the Secretary General of the OIC and the Islamic Development Bank, to discuss how their organizations can advance religious freedom for all, address the treatment of Muslim minorities including Uyghurs and Rohingya, and respond to the threats to religious freedom in Afghanistan.