Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and 49 other international religious liberty leaders are urging Senate leaders to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
In a letter sent to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the coalition of leaders write Pompeo “is a strong nominee who will make international religious freedom a foreign policy priority – a matter which is especially important given that we now know religious freedom, long protected for its own sake, is also intricately connected to the security and prosperity of nations themselves.”
The religious liberty leaders – who represent thousands of Americans – assert Pompeo’s security experience as CIA chief makes him “especially equipped to address this facet of religious freedom policy.”
The leaders continue:
Working with willing partners, we must cultivate religious freedom within communities the world over – and all of this helps achieve their security as well as our own security at home. As one scholar has noted, “[t]here is not a single nation in the world that both respects religious freedom and poses a security threat to the United States,” and the “entities engaging in religious persecution – both states and nonstates – are on balance more likely to pose a security threat to the U.S.”
The coalition also notes “religious freedom is associated with economic growth.”
“When religious freedom flourishes around the world, corruption is lowered and there is more peace, less harmful regulation, reduced liabilities, and more diversity and economic growth,” they observe. “[A]s we engage with foreign officials, we must not excuse their attempts to compromise the notion that everyone, regardless of their faith, has an equal role in civil society, but rather ‘address this issue forthrightly.’”
“We will only have sustainable, long-term peace if we actually make religious freedom a foreign policy priority,” the leaders write. “Mike Pompeo understands this and will make it happen, and should be confirmed as Secretary of State.”
The coalition of religious liberty leaders includes Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse; Matias Perttula, Advocacy Director of International Christian Concern; Ann Buwalda, Esq., Executive Director of Jubilee Campaign USA; David Curry, President and CEO of Open Doors USA; Bob Fu, President and Founder, China Aid; and former Congressman Frank Wolf.
According to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo’s confirmation hearing will begin Thursday.