The International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit officially kicks off on Tuesday in Washington, DC. The event will feature a variety of discussions aimed at raising public awareness and political power for the international religious freedom movement.
The summit kicked off pre-event activities on Monday with a Congressional Advocacy Day that brings together lawmakers, ambassadors and survivors of persecution.
Advocates have held more than 200 conferences on Capitol Hill with both Republican and Democratic lawmakers representing various religious communities.
“We were taking advantage of the best that America had to offer … Religious freedom for all, undeniable everywhere. It’s a bipartisan way,” Amjad Khan, co-chair of the Congressional Advocacy Day, told Fox Digital.
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Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCall says he is proud that Congress last year reauthorized the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to continue shining a light on persecution around the world.
The Commission was established in 1998 under the International Religious Freedom Act to independently assess and confront threats to religious freedom.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Honorary House Co-Chair of the Summit, told Fox News Digital: Unfortunately, religious freedom is under increasing attack around the world. ”
According to a Pew Research Center report, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are the three most restricted (persecuted) religions.
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Khan said Congress could do more for religious freedom by putting prisoners of conscience in the spotlight.
“I don’t think the House has recruited a prisoner of conscience. [legislation] Still in a new session. that is not correct. We have many prisoners of conscience who are now suffering in prison simply because they believe in their faith. People need to know their stories and share their stories. Because that’s how we become advocates for them,” he added.
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More than 1,000 religious freedom advocates are expected to meet Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to kick off the International Religious Freedom Summit.