Remarks at the UN Global Call for International Religious Freedom

Ambassador Kelly Craft
Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
September 23, 2019


Good morning, everyone.

Across the splendid array of countries and cultures represented here, we come together this morning united by our belief that flourishing societies are sustained by religious freedom.

Sadly, this understanding is not universal. Today, all over the world, people of faith face a rising tide of persecution.

In just the past years, we have witnessed horrific acts of violence committed against worshippers in mosques, churches, and synagogues.

We have watched the arbitrary detention and the mistreatment of religious minorities in countries around the globe.

And we have felt the chill of a world that seems increasingly disinterested in defending the rights of all people to the exercise of sincerely held religious beliefs.

As leaders, a time such as this calls us to demonstrate our commitment to religious liberty not only in word but also in deed – which is why I am so extraordinarily pleased and honored that we are joined here today by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Under the leadership of these men, the United States has not only spoken of a renewed commitment to religious liberty. It has demonstrated one.

Just two months ago, President Trump hosted victims of religious persecution at a historic event at the White House.

His administration has vigorously defended religious liberty and the freedom of conscience in the United States.

And under his guidance, the State Department has become a watchful defender of religious liberty, especially through the 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom – the largest freedom event of its kind in the world.

We anticipate a fruitful discussion today on how we can expand religious liberty, guarantee the sanctity of houses of worship, and combat religious persecution around the world, and I am so delighted that you have joined us for this timely event.

It is really hard for me to think of a better person to introduce to a gathering of the freedom of religion in the world. He knows what religion is, what support it can give to the individual and to whole societies. He’s an unpretentious man, who not only believes in the power of religion, he lives his religion, with respect and even piety. He respects the faith of others. He is that great exemplar—a hard-working family man, born in Indiana, proud of his state, prouder of his country, and a first-class demonstration of President Trump’s wisdom in selecting those who serve him closest. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Vice President, my friend, Mike Pence.