On Tuesday, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released the State Department’s annual Report on Religious Freedom, a report detailing several legal battles in Canada over conscience protections and parental rights. In the report, Pompeo describes these Canadian laws and policies as dangerous to religious freedom both internationally and in the United States.
The report discusses Ontario’s Christian doctors’ fight for conscience rights and the government’s inclusion of gender expression and identity in child welfare law. Pro-life and pro-family advocates have warned that the latter gives the state license to remove children from homes if their parents are not accepting enough of the LGBT cause.
Pompeo also called attention to the United State’s commitment to the protection of religious freedom, declaring it the “most fundamental of human rights” while maintaining that “the United States will not stand by as spectators” while people are being persecuted and ostracized because of their religious beliefs. According to the Washington Post, “Pompeo also announced that he personally will host the department’s first-ever international “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom” in Washington in late-July:”
The high-level meeting, to include faith leaders and top diplomats from “like-minded governments” around the world, “will break new ground” and “not just be a discussion group,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters at department headquarters Tuesday.
“It will be about action,” he said in remarks that appeared to be geared at putting the issue on the front-burner of the Trump administration’s wider human rights policy. “We look forward to identifying concrete ways to push back against persecution and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.”