- America's Ambassador-at-Large
for International ReligiousFreedom, Sam Brownback,
opened the first ever ministerial summit
at the State Department Tuesday.
He urged leaders from a range of faiths
to work together to help thepersecuted across the globe.
CBN's National SecurityCorrespondent Erik Rosales has more.
- One by one, persecutedbelievers shared their stories
at the first ever Ministerial Summit here
at the State Department.
But the first persecutedChristian couldn't share
his story in person, that's because he's
still imprisoned in China.
- Many people know my husbandJohn is a pastor living
a simple life in pursuit ofspreading the word of God.
- [Erik] Jamie Powell, thewife of Pastor John Cao,
says the Chinese governmentsees him as a criminal.
Last year, Chinese borderpolice arrested John
for what she calls his faith-driven work,
helping poor people.
He's now serving aseven-year prison sentence.
- Since his detainment,my husband has suffered
a rapid decline in his health.
He has lost 50 pounds.
He's not been able to communicatewith me and my children.
- Prayer is the start,
but as human beings,
as we can see through aconference such as this,
really having this open conversation
and bringing awareness to these issues
is the most important thing.
- Religious freedom really,truly is for everyone.
It's a right given by God.
- [Erik] Former KansasGovernor Sam Brownback is
America's Ambassador-at-Large for
International Religious Freedom.
He urged the representativesfrom 80 countries
at this summit to helpmake the world a place
where people genuinelycare and love one another.
an alliance of government,civil society and faith,
we can and will advance religious freedom.
- [Erik] Brownback sitedthe ethnic cleansing
of Muslims in Myanmar andthe Islamic States' genocide
against Yazidis and Christians in Iraq.
He also highlighted U.S.Pastor Andrew Brunson,
who he says remains wrongly imprisoned
on false charges in Turkey.
- For us, I think the laststatistic I saw was 79%
of Christians around theworld are persecuted.
And I think it's very important,
especially we as the church in America,
begin to understand what our sisters
and brothers go through worldwide.
- [Erik] Brownback says thissummit is just the beginning,
and the Trump Administration will continue
to make religious liberty a top priority.
Erik Rosales, CBN News.
- When God.