US Secretary of State, Senators and Congresspersons join Scientology National Affairs Office for International Religious Freedom Summit


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US Secretary of State, Senators and Congresspersons, including Nancy Pelosi, join Scientology National Affairs Office for International Religious Freedom Summit


EIN Presswire: Religious persecution worldwide addressed at bipartisan multi-faith summit in Washington, DC

Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
July 22, 2021, 06:04 GMT

Religious persecution worldwide addressed at bipartisan multi-faith summit in Washington, DC

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Ambassador Brownback (right) Katrina Lantos Swett, and David Curry, Open Doors USA (left)

Greg Mitchell, IRF Secretariat, on main stage

Church of Scientology members with Annutama Das from the Hari Krishna movement

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, July 22, 2021 / -- Over a thousand multi-faith leaders from 30 diverse religious traditions and bipartisan US and foreign government leaders joined together in Washington, DC, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel to attend the inaugural International Religious Freedom Summit. The Summit highlighted abuse cases and persecution to let those who are being persecuted for their beliefs know that “they have not been forgotten.” The Summit was the first in-person large event held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel since the pandemic started.

Those meeting are concerned about religious freedom issues internationally and egregious violations of human rights, such as the confinement of Muslim Uyghurs in China in concentration camp-like settings. Pakistan and other countries who have blasphemy laws were also discussed. Blasphemy laws are used to marginalize, prosecute, and kill minority religious followers in many countries. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has called for the elimination of blasphemy laws throughout the world. Under such laws, women such as Asia Bibi (one of the speakers at the conference) have been sentenced to death for blasphemy. Ms. Bibi, a Christian in a majority Muslim country, was only released from prison after ten years under a death sentence for allegedly drinking water from the same vessel as Muslim co-workers on a farm.

Eighty-four countries around the world maintain blasphemy laws that criminalize religious expression. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom recently released a groundbreaking report on those countries and how the laws are harmful to the free expression of religious faith or no-faith. Atheists and non-believers are often targeted under these laws and imprisoned or criminally charged.

The hosting organization, the International Religious Freedom Secretariat which oversees the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, talked about the positive movement internationally to protect religious believers and non-believers. Greg Mitchell, Chairman of the Secretariat, said, “No one should suffer for their faith or non-belief. We support religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time.” He continued with discussing the formation of IRF Roundtables in more than thirty regions of the world where religious leaders of all faiths and none meet regularly and work to improve religious freedom laws in various countries and to protest the jailing of prisoners of conscience who are suffering for their beliefs.

The bipartisan Summit was organized by former Senator and former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, and Katrina Lantos Swett, former US Commission on International Religious Freedom Commissioner and the daughter of former Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress. Speakers included US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The event can be viewed at or go to for information.

They were joined on stage or via video by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Cardinal Timothy Dolan Archbishop of New York, Muslim American actor Mahershala Ali and the Dalai Lama. Several foreign government leaders highlighted their support of religious freedom for everyone including a video message from the President of Guatemala and a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony with a Kazakhstan government representative.

Over twenty faith and human rights organizations contributed to religious and human rights education with booths in the Summit’s exhibit hall. These included the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office whose booth featured educational materials on international religious freedom laws and treaties and human rights education materials from Youth for Human Rights International.
Other exhibiting groups included 21Wilberforce, the Baha’is of the US, Campaign for Uyghurs, Conference of European Rabbis, Institute for Global Engagement, Regent University, and many others. Several Uyghur booths exposed the genocide occurring against the Uyghur population in China and proposed solutions to the persecution of Uyghurs around the world.

The wide variety of religious traditions represented at the Summit as well as the high-level and bipartisan Congressional speakers conveyed the importance of religious freedom in today’s world. It is more apparent than ever that people of all religious beliefs and no belief need to work together to ensure human rights and freedom of religion and belief (or no belief) is respected throughout the world.

The summit can be viewed at or go to for information on the group or for information on human rights issues.

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Affairs Office

+1 202-667-6404
email us here

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The Scientology STAND League has a story about Scientology's participation in the International Religious Freedom Summit.



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The bipartisan, three-day summit, with over 1,000 registered to attend, was organized by U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (2018-2021) Sam Brownback, and Katrina Lantos Swett, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2012-2015), president of the Lantos Foundation and daughter of the late U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress.

With session topics ranging from the role of technology in religious persecution to survivor testimonies and genocide prevention, summit speakers included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. James Lankford, Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Henry Cuellar, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Muslim-American actor Mahershala Ali, and the Dalai Lama.

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Many different religious freedom organizations had booths at the summit including groups advocating for the human rights of Uyghurs, the Hindu American Foundation, and the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, whose staff offered attendees the booklet What is Freedom of Religion? which outlines the international human rights standards regarding freedom of religion or belief.

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The aforementioned booklet What is Freedom of Religion? contains the Church of Scientology's proposed "Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief":


what-is-freedom-of-religion_en (1).jpg

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XVIII. Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief


Journalists are accountable for the social and political consequences of their actions and have a duty to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards.

Journalists shall scrupulously endeavor to report the truth; respect the right of the public to know the truth; ensure that any information they disseminate is fair and objective; promptly and prominently correct any material inaccuracies; and afford the right of reply in appropriate instances.

The media [43] is responsible for any material released through it.


The public’s right to information is a fundamental right and cornerstone of a free and democratic society. Thus the media exercises an essential role in the society that requires a great sense of responsibility to the public. Freedom of speech, freedom of information and freedom of the press represent the heart of democracy. A free, independent media is critical to ensure transparency and an open and robust democratic society; it is instrumental to the development and strengthening of effective democratic systems.

A responsible media recognizes the vital necessity of the free flow of information and the impact it has on shaping public perception. It is mindful of its ethical responsibility to the public and its need to respect and defend human rights.

A responsible media has the right and the duty to report and to comment on all matters of public interest with respect to the rights and freedoms of individuals and institutions. It advances understanding and participation in the democratic process for all.

A responsible media freely expresses personal or group opinions within the limits of the pluralistic contest of ideas. It accepts that freedom of expression may be subject to restrictions and limitations when other fundamental rights are endangered. It takes special care to not violate other fundamental human rights and takes individuals’ rights to privacy, honor and dignity into account while fostering the free flow of information.

A responsible media respects prevailing ethical and moral standards and avoids pandering to the lurid or profane.

A responsible media fosters the public’s right to know and right to freedom of expression. It aims at promoting the free flow of information and transparency, and adheres to the principles promoting and upholding respect for human dignity and religious beliefs as reflected in the United Nations Resolution Combating Defamation of Religions.

A responsible media strives for peace, democracy, social progress and respect for human rights. It recognizes, respects and defends diversity of opinion. It opposes discrimination based on any grounds.

A responsible media makes earnest efforts to reduce ignorance, promote greater understanding, alleviate cultural and religious insensitivity among peoples, and facilitate dialogue among nations.

A responsible media ensures that the display and dissemination of images complies with the same requirements and the highest ethical standards as for written or oral presentations.


A responsible media serves as a watchdog to safeguard fundamental rights. It does not, therefore, fuel or engender discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, cultural traditions or similar grounds. It recognizes and respects diversity and minority rights.

A responsible media avoids discriminatory or denigrating references to religious beliefs and spiritual values.

A responsible media does not refer to religions or religious institutions in a prejudicial, biased or pejorative context; when religious references are essential to the reported matter or facilitate understanding, they are made accurately, fairly, impartially and respectfully.

A responsible media refrains from reinterpreting, misinterpreting, analyzing, assessing or examining religious beliefs or the expression of these beliefs. Instead, it maintains a strict duty of neutrality and objectivity—accepting what the religion puts forward as its true beliefs without disapproval, contempt, condescension, bias or ridicule.

A responsible media does not intrude on sacred matters relating to creed, religious rites and religious institutions. It refrains from encouraging or instigating discrimination, derision, scorn or hatred based on religion or belief.

A responsible media provides a fair and prompt opportunity for reply to inaccuracies and stereotypes regarding religious organizations or affected members when reasonably called for.

A responsible media avoids religious stereotyping and does not associate any religion or belief with human rights violations or terrorism.

A responsible media balances fundamental human rights, including the right to be free from discrimination based on religion or belief, with the right to freedom of expression and the public’s right to know. It shows special sensitivity when dealing with religious issues to avoid any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or belief that has as its purpose the nullification or impairment of human rights.


A responsible media never promotes religious hatred. It scrupulously avoids engendering hostility toward religions and their members likely to lead to imminent violence or systematic deprivation of human rights.

A responsible media refrains from provoking aggression, hatred, discrimination and any form of violence directed at individuals and organizations because of their religious beliefs and association. It remains alert to the grave danger associated with condoning or encouraging violence, discrimination, hatred and intolerance on religious grounds.

A responsible media eschews inciting foreseeable violence, inflaming hatred, stigmatizing religions and their followers, and engendering inequality on grounds of religion or belief. It is sensitive to avoid affronting religious beliefs and contributing to conflicts between religions and their members due to religious differences.

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