The United States and Holy See co-sponsored a symposium on “Partnering with Faith-based Organizations: Pathways to Achieving Human Dignity” on October 2, 2019.  The event demonstrated how governments can partner with faith-based organizations to advance and defend religious freedom, combat human trafficking, and provide humanitarian assistance.

This symposium was another milestone for the value of religious freedom. In July 2019, the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom was the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world. During the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week, President Trump became the first American president to host an event on religious freedom at the UN General Assembly. The U.S. delegation also co-hosted the Human Rights Crisis in Xinjiang event at the UN concerning China’s repression campaign that includes, among other abuses, the mass detention of more than one million individuals in internment camps since April 2017.

The Secretary delivered keynote remarks at the U.S.-Holy See Symposium on Partnering with Faith-Based Organizations. He had a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, and met with Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Gallagher. In addition to the Secretary’s remarks, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback and Ambassador at Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons John Cotton Richmond participated in panels during the symposium. The symposium also commemorated the 35th anniversary year of formal U.S.-Holy See diplomatic relations.

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