US announces new global body on religious freedom

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States will create a new international body to campaign for religious freedom, following a major meeting in Washington.

Dubbed the International Religious Freedom Alliance, Pompeo said that details of the group were still being worked out but that it would “bring like-minded countries together” to make the issue a priority.

“It will provide a space for the work that we do here to flourish throughout the year and, importantly, it will defend the unalienable rights of all human beings to believe, or not to believe, whatever it is that they choose,” Pompeo told the ministerial-level meeting. The three-day gathering at the State Department, which is being held for the second straight year, is bringing together dozens of countries and hundreds of activists to promote religious freedom.