On July 17, IGE and Christianity Today (CT) co-hosted two panel discussions on religious freedom during the U.S. State Department's Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. This year’s Ministerial follows upon the milestone first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom that took place last year. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, along with the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, worked around the clock to bring together stakeholders in both governments and civil society to spark action to advance global religious freedom. Over 100 foreign government delegations and more than 1,000 civil society members from 106 countries convened to engage in active discussions on the importance of religious freedom and its international realities.
IGE’s first event featured a presentation and analysis of the past decade of Pew Research data on religious restrictions worldwide, entitled Quantifying Religious Freedom: A 10-Year Global Analysis of Pew Research. The data illustrated how both government restrictions and social hostilities towards religion have risen over the past decade.
In response to these trends, IGE and CT's second event highlighted efforts by evangelicals at advancing religious freedom around the world. The event, Evangelical Engagement On International Religious Freedom: Innovative Case Studies, featured case studies from IGE, CT Global, Glocal.net, Open Doors, ADF International, Evangelical Fellowship of India, and CSW Cuba.
IGE was also invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Justice Ruslanbek Davletov and the head of the National Human Rights Council Akmal Saidov hosted by the U.S. Institute for Peace. IGE looks forward to working alongside the Uzbekistan government and their reforms, building upon the Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2018 to build religious freedom in the country.
During the week of the Ministerial, IGE was also honored to host faith leaders from Vietnam and Laos who were in town to attend the Ministerial.
IGE believes that religious freedom matters for all people. IGE’s mission and vision is centered around the belief that religious freedom is a universal, God-given right that affects all spheres of life. Throughout the week, IGE's social media featured the hashtag #ReligiousFreedomMatters to highlight our initiatives and invite others to speak up for those who do not have a voice for their religious freedom.