At the invitation of the US State Department, Mr. Ashur Eskrya President of the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq, participated in the Ministerial Conference to Advance Religious Freedom, which was held at the State Department in Washington DC from Jul. 24th – 27th, 2018, sponsored by US Vice President Mr. Mike Pence.
The conference is the first international forum on religious freedom adopted by the United States of America, with participation of representatives from more than 80 countries, representatives of civil society organizations, religious leaders of all faiths and activists around the world in the field of religious freedom.
The conference agenda included work sessions, various events and activities focused on the concepts of freedom of religion and its importance in creating peace around the world and the need to accept the other regardless of religion and belief, whether the believer or non-believer.
Emphasis was placed on the reality of religious freedoms in some countries and the oppression and persecution of some communities on religious or ethnic grounds.
In particular, the Christians and Yazidis were subjected to oppression and genocide by ISIS organization and the continuation of genocide and its effects on these indigenous peoples and the need to take measures to stop their effects on their existence.
In his speech, US Vice President Mr. Mike Pence affirmed the commitment of the United States to continue to support the various components of the Nineveh Plain through supporting them to return to their areas of origin by allocating direct fund from the US government.
During his attendance in the ministerial conference, the president of the AAS-Iraq participated in numerous meetings with representatives of civil society organizations, clerics, activists and officials of the American administration, where Mr. Eskrya met with Mr. Sam Brownback, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Mr. Frank Wolf, former Congressman; He also met with Dr. Wadee Batti, Representative of the Iraqi Foreign Minister to the Forum, and Dr. Fareed Yassin, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Washington DC, as well as meeting with Dr. Chris Seiple, the Chief Executive Officer of Sagestone Group.