From July 16-18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which is touted as the "the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world." More than a thousand attendees representing delegations from 106 countries arrived in Washington D.C. to discuss challenges to religious liberty and how to collectively address the threats facing people of faith worldwide.
Over the course of three days, U.S. and foreign officials as well as grassroots representatives participated in plenary sessions and breakout panels on topics such as protection for religious sites or combating anti-Semitism. Survivors of religious persecution were honored for their resilience — from Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad to holocaust survivor Irene Weiss. A robust program of more than 80 side events supplemented the ministerial by offering specialized events on issues ranging from homeschooling in Cuba to the plight of Bahai's in Iran. To casual and expert observers alike, the summit was an overwhelming success for the cause of religious liberty.