On July 26, the United States hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State M. Pompeo delivered keynote remarks at the Ministerial. The Ministerial convened leaders from around the world to discuss religious freedom, challenges facing religious freedom, identify ways to address persecution of and discrimination against religious groups and promote greater respect for religious liberty for all.

Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar commended the U.S. Government for hosting this timely and important event, especially in context of the increasing number conflicts and confrontations in the international landscape. The Foreign Minister noted that the root cause of many of today’s conflicts lies within interreligious as well as intrareligious differences, and underscored the importance of understanding inter and intra religious differences, researching and studying confrontations arising from them and means to solve these problems in conflict resolutions and future conflict preventions.

Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar expressed that Mongolians have a longstanding tradition of religious tolerance for all religion and respect for religious liberty, and today, religious freedom is one of the most fundamental values. He further proposed to initiate a scholarly work, a project to research the best practices of religious tolerance in today’s world, and to convene thematic or regional chapters of this conference.

Foreign Ministers, representatives of international organizations, members of civil society organizations and religious leaders from around the world gathered for the inaugural Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.