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ADF International to Highlight Defense of Persecuted Christians at International Religious Freedom Summit

ADF International to Highlight Defense of Persecuted Christians at International Religious Freedom Summit

  • High-level, non-partisan event to be held in Washington, D.C. this week
  • Summit showcases unprecedented support across the political spectrum on the urgent issue of Christian persecution across the world

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2022) – The annual International Religious Freedom Summit, to be held on June 28-30, 2022, in Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest civil society-led conference on international religious freedom.

This is a high-level, non-partisan event, showcasing unprecedented support across the political spectrum on the urgent human rights issue of religious persecution across the world. It will be co-chaired by former Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Samuel Brownback, and former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Katrina Lantos Swett.

The three-day event will feature notable speakers on various dimensions of global religious freedom, including NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain, U.K. Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief Fiona Bruce, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

Päivi Räsänen, Finnish Member of Parliament, will share her story after she won a groundbreaking freedom of speech victory facing criminal prosecution on the issue of “hate speech” for a tweet about her religious beliefs in Finland.

ADF International President and CEO Michael Farris, Director of ADF India Tehmina Arora, and Director of ADF International’s Global Religious Freedom team Kelsey Zorzi will present on strategies for the legal defense of persecuted Christians across the world. The stories of numerous survivors and religious prisoners of conscience will be highlighted.

“The opportunity to highlight the real-life stories of persecuted individuals at such a high-level event is hugely important to bring attention to the tragic reality facing persecuted Christians across the world. If we are to seek justice for these individuals, secure their safety, and bring an end to religious persecution, we must focus on sending a unified message as embodied by this summit,” said Kelsey Zorzi, Director of Global Religious Freedom for ADF International.

“Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, with over 360 million living in places of danger or extreme discrimination. The International Religious Freedom Summit offers the world an urgently needed look at this reality, often ignored, to raise crucial awareness on one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time,” noted Sean Nelson, Legal Counsel for Global Religious Freedom with ADF International.

ADF International will host a lunch event on June 29, “Free to Believe, Free to Convert: Litigating Religious Freedom Issues around Conversion,” and a breakout session on June 30, “Recent Trends in Religious Freedom Litigation around the World.” The sessions will feature ADF International allied lawyers and partners discussing their work at courts around the world protecting persecuted Christians. Featured lawyers and advocates are supporting Maira from Pakistan, Nada and Hamouda from Sudan, and numerous persecuted individuals from Nigeria, India, Turkey, and Vietnam.


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