Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, and former Secretary of State MIke Pompeo have joined the Dalai Lama for a large summit on freedom of religion.
The International Religious Freedom Summit in America started on Tuesday, bringing together many speakers and organisers from both sides of the political aisle.
The event, chaired by the summit's ambassador and former Kansas governor Sam Brownback, aims to bring more than 30 faith traditions together with the hope of increasing "public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement." The event goes on until Wednesday and is being held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, in Washington DC.
The event has attracted an assortment of speakers to address religious freedom, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Dalai Lama, USAID administrator Samantha Power, White House faith-based and neighbourhood partnerships executive director Melissa Rogers, and USAID faith-based office director Adam Phillips.
It also includes individuals who have been on the front lines of religious persecution, like Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng. The event has several members of Congress attending as honorary co-chairs for the summit.
For Brownback, religious freedom is a "fundamental, universal human right that is essential to personal and societal flourishing." He told the Christian Post that the summit aims to "widen the set of relationships that people have in pushing religious freedom and to bring more visibility and support to the topic."
The summit centres around a document, titled "A Charter of Religious Freedom," which argues that "every government, every religious community, and every political and civil society organisation in the world should strive toward the goal of achieving freedom of religion and conscience, for everyone, everywhere — protected by law and valued by culture."