Washington D.C: Vice President of United States Mike Pence delivered the keynote address on the final of U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
Pence in his address spoke strongly in support of victims of religious persecutions in different countries. He expressed being honored by the presence of former Tibetan political prisoner and activist Golog Jigme. In recognising Golog Jigme’s courage and stand for liberty Vice President Pence said that for nearly 70 years, the Tibetan people have been brutally repressed by the Chinese government and Golog Jigme’s escape from Tibet and into exile meant that the Tibetan people’s “fight to practice their religion and protect their culture goes on.”
Golog Jigme as among a selected group of survivors of religious persecution who met with Vice President and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
During a side interaction Golog Jigme shared a moving personal account of having faced persecution from Chinese authorities and urged Vice President Mike Pence to engage with Chinese leaders ,to engage with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to restore religious freedom in Tibet and to find a lasting resolution to the Tibetan issue and allow the Tibetan people to have true religious freedom. He also urged the U.S. to seek the release of Panchen Lama, incarcerated for 23 years.
The first ever Ministerial convened by U.S. State Department saw a gathering of over 400 people; elected officials, international groups, religious heads, civil society members to advance religious freedom around the globe and survivors of religious persecution.
Gyalwang Karmapa, Venerable Demo Rinpoche, North America Representative Ngodup Tsering, ICT’s Executive President Matteo Mecacci and Vice President Bhuchung K Tsering were present at the prestigious Ministerial.
One of the highlights of the gathering was the screening of a video message by His Holiness the Dalai Lama stressing on the importance of promoting religious harmony.
Ambassador at large Governor Brownback called His Holiness one of the best spokesmen for religious freedom.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that this Ministerial would be an annual feature of the state department.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, Washington D.C.-