Protection of religious freedom is central to the Trump administration's foreign policy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. "The protection of religious freedom is central to the Trump administration's foreign policy, and protecting this human right is an essential part of who we are as Americans," Pompeo said on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRF Act) into law. "Religious freedom appears first among the rights enumerated in our Constitution. Where religious freedom flourishes, there is greater stability and more economic opportunity," Pompeo said. Signed into law 20 years ago, the IRF Act expanded US foreign policy capabilities to promote and defend religious freedom around the world, he said. "It builds on our founding fathers' firm conviction that the freedom of individuals to believe as they see fit is a god-given right that is central to the success of a nation. "Though the challenges to religious freedom are daunting, they are not insurmountable, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all may enjoy this universal freedom," the Secretary of State said.