Israel Participates in First Ministers’ Forum of International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance

18 November, 2020   |   2 weeks ago

Israel participated on Tuesday in the first annual Ministers’ Forum of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) with 31 other member states to discuss ways to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief around the world.

Senior Deputy Director-General of Media and Public Affairs of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Noam Katz, headed the Israeli Delegation.

In his statement, Katz addressed the “despicable resurgence of anti-Semitism” across the world and the plight of Christian communities in the Middle East. Christian communities across the region have been in retreat in recent years due to Islamic persecution.

He also referred to the recent Abraham Accords signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain as “a prime example of faith-based diplomacy.”

The Alliance members signed a declaration entitled “A Shared Vision for Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All,” in which they recommitted to upholding the principles of religious freedom and to advocate and promote these freedoms.

The IRFBA was launched in February 2020 by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the goal of forming a global alliance that would work together in promoting freedom of religion and worship, prevent the persecution of religious minorities, and preserve holy religious and historical sites around the world.

The IRFBA seeks to continue its efforts to advance freedom of religion or belief around the world.

​Pompeo stated that he was honored to join his counterparts for talks to advance religious freedom.

“Freedom of religion or belief is a cherished American value and universal human right. The US stands with its Alliance partners in taking concrete actions to defend believers and non-believers alike,” he said.