Twenty-three years ago, I was honored to support the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act, groundbreaking legislation that established the United States as the world’s leader in promoting and defending freedom of religion or belief for all people across the globe. Today, on International Religious Freedom Day, I’m proud to recommit the United States to this freedom—enshrined in our First Amendment—and to lead our global effort to press for freedom of religion or belief for everyone, everywhere.
Promoting and defending religious freedom for all is as important now as it has ever been. Tragically, repressive governments, violent extremists, and other societal actors continue to persecute and abuse individuals and groups simply because of their religious identity, practices, or beliefs. Such abhorrent acts abuse human rights and human dignity. And, the repression that stifles religious freedom undermines political stability and economic development. We stand in defense of religious freedom not only as an expression of our deepest values but also because it is a vital national security priority. The United States will continue to rally the globe to protect and promote the right of freedom of religion or belief, including through multilateral coalitions such as the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance.
Every faith is in the minority somewhere in the world, and we can only fully realize the freedom we wish for ourselves by helping to ensure that liberty for everyone. On International Religious Freedom Day 2021, my Administration pledges to make that aspiration a reality around the world.