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Scientology Minister Urges International Religious Freedom Civil Society Congress to Up Collaboration to End Persecution

Rev. Susan Taylor, Church of Scientology National Affairs Office addressing attendees during the civil society congress plenary section of the IRF Summit 2022.

Civil Society Congress at International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2022 offers new ideas to curb oppression and atrocities against faiths around the world.

We need to increase our forces by bringing in other similar groups who are working towards a better world.”
— Rev. Susan Taylor, Church of Scientology National Affairs Office

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, July 7, 2022 / -- The International Religious Freedom Summit 2022 was held last week in Washington, DC, to organize civil society and government toward protecting religious believers and non-believers from persecution around the world.

“Even while the global religious freedom movement has been launched, levels of persecution and restriction based on faith or belief have increased around the world. It is time to think big,” announced the International Religious Freedom Summit in an appeal to groups to submit new innovative recommendations to improve religious freedom initiatives.

“With nearly 80 percent of the world's population living in areas where the right to religious freedom is highly restricted, it will be up to civil society working together with government to help curb the atrocities. We need to rethink how the peoples of all countries can help stem the rising tide of religious genocide, murder, incarceration, ‘re-education’ concentration camps, beatings, and governmental control,” said Rev. Susan Taylor from the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, DC, who joined others in addressing the Civil Society Congress, organized as part of the summit.

“Collaboration has always been one of our great strengths in the International Religious Freedom field,” she continued. “We need to increase our forces by bringing in other similar groups who are working towards a better world.”

Rev. Taylor proposed outreach programs working toward peace, human rights, justice, and human dignity. Civil society needs to reach deep into communities to change the hearts of citizens and government. She gave an example of a program sponsored by the Church of Scientology which is used to teach youth about human rights based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This program, Youth for Human Rights International, is used around the world with educational videos and materials in 17 languages.

The overall motto of the summit was “religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time.”

Speaking to that topic, the summit co-chair, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, and his co-chair, Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation, both spoke about the importance of this precious right and the need to pay attention to abuses in China, Taiwan, Burma, Vietnam, Nigeria and elsewhere.

The new U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain tweeted out, “Grateful to speak @IRFSummit yesterday where I emphasized that as a country of immigrants representing our planet’s diversity, the U.S. is uniquely positioned to work w/civil society globally to advance the constitutional principle & fundamental human right of religious freedom.”

The IRF Summit audience heard many suggestions from those speaking on the stage throughout the three-day conference who promoted the importance of religious freedom and the other human rights that are violated when religious freedom is ignored.

This year was the second annual summit, held in Washington, DC, with over 1100 religious leaders and human rights advocates from many nations attending and exchanging ideas and issues.

With over 90 speakers including the President of Guatemala, Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, Members of Parliament from other countries, and victims of religious persecution, the event was well-rounded and covered many issues.

The IRF Summit, led by the IRF Secretariat and the IRF Roundtable, is the largest civil society-led conference in the world, focused on advancing international religious freedom. The summit brought together a broad coalition that passionately supports religious freedom around the globe for a three-day, in-person event. During the plenary and breakout sessions, personal testimonies of horrific abuses were shared by survivors of persecution, raising the awareness of attendees, media, and others towards the goal of creating a faster-growing grassroots and global movement advocating religious freedom for all.

Founded in 2010, the IRF Roundtable is an informal group of individuals from all faiths and none who gather regularly to discuss IRF issues on an off-the-record basis. The IRF Roundtable, which meets weekly, advocates and advises on policies regarding international religious freedom around the world and also in the United States.

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Affairs Office
+1 202-667-6404
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