IL News 015/2019
The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world, was held in Washington, DC, on July 16-18, 2019. Hosted by the U.S. State Department, it attracted more than 1,000 civil society and religious leaders, and governmental representatives, from more than 100 countries. The event was opened by State Secretary Mike Pompeo and closed by Vice President Mike Pence.
Many international figures spoke to affirm the respect for religious freedom, such as Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah from Abu Dhabi, U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, and many others. Many Indonesia leaders also came, for example Leimena Institute’s President Jakob Tobing, NU’s Secretary General K.H. Yahya Cholil Staquf, NU’s Chairman H. Marsudi Syuhud, and Istiqlal Mosque’s Chief Imam K.H. Nasaruddin Umar. Matius Ho, Leimena Institute’s Executive Director, spoke at the “Religious Freedom Conditions for Effective Public – Faith-Based Partnerships in Development” panel, sponsored by USAID on the second day of the Ministerial.