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From July 16-18, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will convene the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. Advancing international religious freedom for all remains one of the defining challenges of the 21st century and is a top foreign policy priority of this administration. The ministerial will bring together an unprecedented number of civil society organizations, religious leaders, and high-ranking officials to better understand the challenges and devise strategies to confront intolerance, discrimination, and abuse. The ministerial will provide a platform for survivors of religious persecution from around the world to tell their stories of courage and endurance.

In advance of the Ministerial, on July 15, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback will host a private tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for survivors of religious persecution. Ambassador Brownback then will deliver remarks and participate in a candle lighting ceremony in the museums Hall of Remembrance.

On July 16, senior government officials, civil society organizations, and religious leaders will discuss opportunities for greater collaboration to promote religious freedom.

On July 17, ministerial programming will include deep-dive discussions and breakout sessions with topical experts, civil society actors, religious leaders, academics, and expert-level government officials. In addition, the State Department will present its first-ever International Religious Freedom Awards to individuals who have demonstrated an ongoing and relentless commitment to promoting religious freedom for all.

On July 18, senior government and international organization representatives will develop collaborative approaches and make new commitments to promote religious freedom. That evening, participants and invited guests will gather at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to recognize the global strides made to advance international religious freedom.

For press inquiries please e-mail and visit for event information. On Twitter, follow along with the conversation @IRF_Ambassador and using the hashtag #IRFMinisterial.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future