(Minghui.org) In a speech to the Florida Family Policy Council Dinner Gala on October 3, 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo condemned the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of freedom of belief.

Pompeo said that he had just returned from Europe and seen how the goodness of the United States helped people escape the persecution of communism.

He said, “The Declaration of Independence tells us that 'all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among [them] are [the right to] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'”

He said: “Religious freedom is our ‘first freedom.’ When we, each of us can worship freely and openly discuss the eternal questions of the soul, we can understand how we ought to live our lives – both individually and as a society.”

He mentioned the Chinese Communist Party’s staggering abuses of freedom of religion.

“One million or more Uyghurs and other Muslims are held in internment camps that rival the worst abuses that happened a century ago in Europe.”

“Christians in China are being ordered to replace pictures of Jesus with pictures of Chairman Mao.”

“Indeed, the peaceful Falun Gong movement banned, its practitioners frequently jailed.”

He emphasized: “We in the Trump administration have spoken up about these abuses. We’ve taken action against those responsible. And importantly, we’ve rallied our friends and allies around the world to do the same. We’ve not led from behind – we’ve led from the front on this incredibly important moral issue.”

Pompeo said that the persecution of religious beliefs needs to be condemned, no matter where or when the persecution occurs. He said this administration will “speak up fearlessly for religious freedom. It’s our duty; it’s the right thing to do. This administration will do it each and every day.”

“America is special because we don’t just protect our own people…we help other nations protect the lives of their own people, too.”

He saw America leading the world in fighting for freedom of belief, “We must go where others fear to tread. We must speak up when others choose to stay silent. We must let our light shine when others keep it under a bushel.”

He also added that he was not alone, “Every morning when I arrive at the State Department...I ask the Lord’s help for the day. I reach out in prayer to have him help me live in his grace and do things that he asks us all to do.”