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Religious Freedom: A Fundamental Human Right at Risk for 80 Percent of the World's Population


The Church of Scientology supports interfaith collaboration to ensure the freedom of religion or belief for all

“The challenges to religious freedom across the globe are structural, systemic, and deeply entrenched,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mr. Antony Blinken in a statement January 4. “But with thoughtful, sustained commitment from those who are unwilling to accept hatred, intolerance, and persecution as the status quo we will one day see a world where all people live with dignity and equality.” It is just such a sustained commitment that informed the annual IRF Summit January 30 and 31, 2024. The Church of Scientology supports and participates in the annual summit and programs that protect and advance this vital freedom for all.

International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2024
International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2024
 

This year’s Summit was cochaired by Ambassador Sam Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom (2018–2021), and Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and former chair and vice-chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan U.S. Government commission established to monitor religious freedom abroad. 

The Summit featured 169 speakers representing more than 30 unique faith traditions. Some 1,500 religious freedom proponents of diverse cultural backgrounds and political perspectives from 41 countries participated.

“The IRF Summit is a gathering of people from around the world that really seek the same thing,” said Ambassador Brownback in a video on the IRF Summit website. “Religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time.”

“Those of us who are fortunate enough to have that freedom as just a natural birthright, we really have a moral duty to act on behalf of those who are struggling for something that we take for granted every day,” said Dr. Lantos Swett.

“Our failure to pay attention to religious freedom paves the way for atrocities,” said human rights advocate, D.C.-based attorney Nury Turkel, current chair of the USICRF.

The IRF Summit Charter, established in July 2021, holds that “every government, every religious community, and every political and civil society organization in the world should strive toward the goal of achieving freedom of religion and conscience, for everyone, everywhere—protected in law and valued by culture.”

The Summit is dedicated to growing a powerful coalition of organizations that operate together to promote religious freedom around the world and increase public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement.

“This summit provides a voice to those who are silenced at a time when virtually every faith is under attack somewhere in the world,” said Rev. Olivia McDuff, public affairs staff at the Church of Scientology International. “Support of religious freedom for all is enshrined in the Creed of the Church of Scientology, written by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It affirms that ‘all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.’”

In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church of Scientology has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.

Watch the Creed of the Church of Scientology on the Scientology Network. For more information on the advocacy of the Church of Scientology for the freedom of religion or belief of all, visit your nearest Church of Scientology, the Church of Scientology religious freedom website, its religious freedom blog, or download a copy of the booklet “What is Freedom of Religion,” published by the Church of Scientology International.



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