Spirited Debate: 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom helps form ‘extraordinary’ friendship: author

This week in Washington, delegates from around the globe are taking part in the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed 100 delegations with the focus on victims of religious persecution and the challenges they face ahead.

The goal of the alliance is to discover ways to promote religious freedom and hold religious oppressors accountable. According to a Pew Research Center study, government restriction on religion rose from 2007 to 2017, which included violence and harassment of religious activities.

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“Today, we are turning our convictions into action. And there’s not a moment to lose. A shocking 83 percent of the world’s population live in nations where religious freedom is either threatened or denied entirely,” Pompeo said during his keynote address. “We’re all in this fight together. You can be sure the United States will be out front defending the God-given, unalienable right of all human beings to worship as they choose.”

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Fox News’ Lauren Green spoke to best-selling author and founder and chairman of the Joshua Fund, Joel Rosenberg, about the advances that are happening between evangelicals and Islamic countries.

Rosenberg said there is something extraordinary happening between evangelicals and leaders of Arab nations.

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“One of the challenges, starting with September 11, 2001, and coming forward, is that evangelicals have rightly seen radical Islamism, political violent extremist Islam, which is a small subset, as a serious threat,” Rosenberg said. “But these days something extraordinary that is happening is leaders of Arab Muslim countries have invited me to bring delegations of evangelical Christian leaders from the United States to visit them.”

According to Rosenberg, he has received invites from Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, colloquially known by his initials as MBZ, to bring delegations of evangelicals to visit their countries. Rosenberg says he was told by Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that Saudi leaders had not invited evangelicals to have a dialogue with them in 300 years.