From Afghanistan to Zanzibar, millions of people are routinely harassed, beaten, arrested, tortured, or killed for their faith.
"We're really headed, I think, for this showdown, a clash of civilizations if you will if we stop guaranteeing people's right to religious freedom," said Sam Brownback, co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Summit.
Today through Thursday, a diverse group of leaders from different faiths and more than a dozen organizations are meeting in Washington, D.C., for a summit to highlight the cause of religious freedom around the globe.
Brownback, who served as the State Department's ambassador for religious freedom in the Trump administration, says nearly 80 percent of the world's population lives in countries where they are routinely persecuted for their faith.
China at the top of the list, targeting every faith group, with Christians and Muslims bearing the brunt of the Communist regime's wrath.
A report in April claimed that the Chinese government was holding Christians in secret brainwashing camps and forcing them to renounce their faith.
Using high-tech surveillance and other monitoring systems, China is also reportedly holding some 3 million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps.
"They got a camera everywhere, social credit system and if they get their money digitized, where there's no physical currency anymore, they will be able to track every transaction that's made with Chinese currency and they can shut you off, just shut you off if they decide they don't like who you are or what your faith is," Brownback stated.
And it's not just China.
In its annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom says 50,000 Christians are being held in North Korean prison camps. Some 3,000 Yazidi girls and women are missing in Iraq and 130,000 Muslims are languishing in internment camps in Burma.
The International Religious Freedom summit will bring survivors of severe persecution together with lawmakers and advocates.
Their goal is to gain political support for religious freedom and grow the grassroots movement.
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