With impeachment fever taking over Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focused on faith while visiting the Vatican on Wednesday.
He called on all nations to join the Trump administration in protecting religious freedom. It’s estimated 11 Christians die each day for their faith.
Pompeo specifically pointed at China, Cuba, Iran, and Syria as some of the key countries repressing religious freedom.
“More than 80 percent of mankind lives in places where religious freedom is threatened or entirely denied,” he said.
Pompeo used this faith-based gathering to layout alarming statistics including reports that 1 in 9 Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution. Global persecution is up 14% from last year.
He then urged world leaders to promote global religious freedom.
“We humbly ask the Holy See to join us. The representatives of all nations present here today to join us,” he said. “That could be more powerful than our voices all together calling for the freedom to worship God.”
This comes on the heels of President Trump’s recent United Nations push for religious freedom.
“As president, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities,” Trump said.
Last week, the commander-in-chief announced greater protection for US religious sites and a new business coalition focused on workers.
“This is the first time this has been done,” Trump said. “This initiative will encourage the private sector to protector people of all faiths in the workplace.”
Pompeo added that when governments hold absolute power they “demand its citizens’ worship government, not God.”
His visit to Rome is part of the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the US.