Washington: The Office of Tibet, Washington participated in the International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 as one of the convening partners. This is a joint initiative of Ambassador Brownback, former head of Office of International Religious Freedom and Katrina Swett of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
The highlights of the Summit was the video message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Notable speakers also include former Ambassador Sam Brownback, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Congressmen Chris Smith and Frank Wolf, Senator James Lankford, Katrina Lantos Swett and Samantha Powers of USAID.
Speakers mentioned the plight and lack of religious freedom under the Chinese Communist Party for Tibetan Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners, and the speakers all explained at length why religious freedom is a fundamental right to human beings, which must be provided and protected.
Representative Ngodup Tsering spoke at a side event titled “Persecution of Religious Freedom in Tibet.” It was co-hosted with the China Director of Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson. The two spoke at length regarding the sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism, culture, and language.
An information booth was set up along with several other organizations to provide information about Tibet, the Central Tibetan Administration, and the Office of Tibet-DC. Books and brochures on Tibet and the Office of Tibet-DC, including the CTA’s “Tibet, Was Never A Part of China” book, were distributed to onlookers. Almost all of the books were collected by IRF participants.
As stated on the IRF website, the purpose of the three-day Summit was to, “Creating a powerful coalition of organizations that operate together for the cause of religious freedom around the world. Increasing the public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement.”
-Filed by OOT, DC