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November 16, 2020 Press Release

State Department to co-host networking opportunity between international leaders and American extremist groups under the guise of religious freedom

11.16.20 – Today and tomorrow, the Polish government will host Trump’s State Department’s third and final Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom — a convening of high-level representatives of national delegations that has also included U.S. based organizations that have advocated for an anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islam, and anti-women agenda on a global scale.

Under the guise of religious freedom, Trump’s State Department has worked to grow the political influence of extremist American hate groups like Alliance Defending Freedom, Concerned Women for America, Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the James Dobson Family Institute by connecting them with international leaders. This year’s event, held virtually in Warsaw, Poland and co-hosted with the Polish government, comes as tens of thousands of Polish women take to the streets to protest an abortion ban showing, in no uncertain terms, that these kinds of policies are not welcome.

“When the United States raises the banner of religious freedom, we should be championing the safety and freedom of marginalized and minority communities, not orchestrating their oppression.” said Molly Bangs, Director Equity Forward. “The organizations the Trump administration coordinates with are exporting hate and pushing draconian anti-reproductive rights, anti-abortion, and anti-Islam policies that have been routinely rejected here and abroad. The harm that flows from American hate groups’ newfound connections to international leaders will outlast the Trump administration, and President-elect Biden will need a proactive global human rights agenda as we work to reverse that damage.”

The Trump Administration continues to execute a coordinated, multi-agency attack on global human rights under the guise of religious freedom and this event comes on the heels of the U.S. undertaking several disturbing actions. This administration:      

  • Released a report from Secretary Pompeo’s one sided Commission on Unalienable Rights, which prioritizes property and religious rights at the expense of all others.

  • Sponsored the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which undermines LGBTQ families and denies the right to access to abortion.

  • Aligned itself with countries’ concerning human rights practices, including U.S. praise for Hungary and its xenophobic policy that incentivizes white, native Christian families to have more children in an effort to counter the immigrant population.

Equity Forward’s Global Spotlight database includes profiles on Secretary Mike Pompeo and Ambassador At Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback who spearhead the Ministerials, as well as notable attendee Andrew Bremberg, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. Equity Forward will continue to watch Trump's State Department and other agencies enlisted by the administration to undermine global human rights, as well as the outside organizations the administration has enlisted to support its agenda in the years to come.


Equity Forward is a watchdog project that seeks to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals who are actively working to deny people access to services such as birth control and abortion.