ABHMS’ Li attends International Religious Freedom Summit

The Rev. Florence Li, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) national coordinator of Asian Ministries, represented the Burma Refugee Commission (BRC), as a delegate to the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit July 13-15, 2021, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the three-day summit featured an array of international and national speakers, plenary sessions and individual testimonies. Li attended with support from both ABHMS and the Office of the General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA.

The IRF Summit had two main objectives:

  • to create a powerful coalition of organizations that operate together for the cause of religious freedom around the world and
  • to increase public awareness and political strength of the international religious freedom movement.

“Having heard the testimonies of individuals who told the stories of how they survived while pursuing their own religious rights was powerful and reminded me of ABHMS’ and BRC’s advocacy efforts to continue to speak for those who are deprived of their religious freedom,” Li said.

The plenary sessions were filled with speakers who represented various foreign religious freedom organizations as well as the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Domestic religious advocacy organizations such as Barnabas Aid, Open Doors USA and others were also represented to highlight the crucial work of religious empowerment.

Posted for attendee signatures was “A Charter of Religious Freedom” that read, “for Everyone, Everywhere, All the Time.”

Li attended the Summit with Leslie Turley, a member of the BRC and International Ministries’ area director of Southeast Asia & Japan.