International Religious Freedom Day

Press Statement
Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 27, 2017

Freedom of religion is at the very core of the American experience, and is a fundamental human right for every person on earth. The ability of Americans to live out their beliefs has been central to our success as a nation, and countries that similarly respect religious freedom are more prosperous, peaceful, and secure than those that do not.

Promoting and protecting religious freedom globally is a foreign policy priority of the Trump Administration. We work with like-minded countries to promote and urge respect for religious freedom where governments or societal actors perpetrate abuse. We confront governments that harass members of religious minorities under the pretext of national security. We condemn terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram who conduct attacks against innocent civilians under the guise of an extremist religious ideology. We support civil society organizations working to combat intolerance and discrimination, and promote mutual respect, coexistence, and social harmony.

On this day, we are especially mindful that there are far too many around the world deprived of religious liberty. We reaffirm our stance that all people, in every country, deserve to exercise their right to live according to their conscience: to be free to worship, practice, share, change, and express their beliefs as they see fit. The challenges are many, but we will not rest until all can enjoy these fundamental freedoms.