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U.S. will continue to protect and promote the right of freedom of religion: Biden

File Photo. U.S. President Joe Biden said America would continue to stand for religious freedom globally, both as a reflection of the country’s values and also as a matter of national security on International Religious Freedom Day   | Photo Credit: AP

U.S. President Joe Biden said America would continue to stand for religious freedom globally, both as a reflection of the country’s values and also as a matter of national security, in a written statement released on Wednesday, October 27, to commemorate International Religious Freedom Day.

“We stand in defence of religious freedom not only as an expression of our deepest values but also because it is a vital national security priority. The United States will continue to rally the globe to protect and promote the right of freedom of religion or belief,” Mr. Biden said.

The comments are consistent with the Biden administration’s position that it has made human rights central to its foreign policy. The comments are also relevant to the U.S.-India bilateral relationship. Both Mr. Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris made pointed references to democratic values during their remarks in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited the White House last month.

In Wednesday’s message, Mr. Biden said promoting and protecting religious freedom was of utmost importance today as individuals continued to get persecuted by state and non-state actors for their religious identity.

“Tragically, repressive governments, violent extremists, and other societal actors continue to persecute and abuse individuals and groups simply because of their religious identity, practices, or beliefs,” he said.

“Every faith is in the minority somewhere in the world, and we can only fully realise the freedom we wish for ourselves by helping to ensure that liberty for everyone. On International Religious Freedom Day 2021, my Administration pledges to make that aspiration a reality around the world,” Mr. Biden said.

He also said that he was “proud” to recommit the U.S. to international religious freedom and lead the effort to “press for freedom of religion or belief” everywhere.

Earlier in the day, the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom tweeted saying religious freedom also included the freedom to not have a religion and the right applied to atheist, secularists, humanists and other non-believers.

“Religious freedom allows people to be free from religion,” it said.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:27:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-will-continue-to-protect-and-promote-the-right-of-freedom-of-religion-biden/article37204600.ece

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