In a speech at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Vice President Mike Pence described the state of religious freedom around the world and the wide variety of attacks it faces.
He mentioned several of the guests in attendance who had been the subjects of religious persecution in their home countries.
“The list of religious freedom violators is long; their crimes and oppressions span the width of our world,” he said in Washington. “The victims of religious persecution face economic sanctions. They’re often arrested and imprisoned. They’re the target of mob violence and state sanctioned terror. And all too often, those whose beliefs run counter to their rulers face not just persecution but death.”
The first individual target of religious persecution Pence mentioned was Fr Raul Zamora of Nicaragua, whose church was besieged by the government of Daniel Ortega. In the siege, during which over 200 students sought shelter at the church, two students died, adding to a death toll of over 350 this year in Nicaragua.
After telling Fr Zamora’s story, Pence said, “Our prayers are with you, and the people of America stand with you for freedom of religion and freedom in Nicaragua.”
Picture: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence appear at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington. The July event was sponsored by the State Department. (CNS photo/Alex Wroblewski, Reuters).