"Mike Pompeo" by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Highlighting the value of Christians: State Department’s first-ever employee faith group underscores Mike Pompeo’s influence

Nov 1, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein

All year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made news for efforts that critics worry are crossing church-state separation lines. In July, he launched a Commission on Unalienable Rights, created by religious conservatives who have bemoaned growing LGBTQ equality. Then in October, a private Pompeo speech, “Being a Christian Leader,” was advertised across the top of the State Department homepage.

Less noticed was the creation of the State Department’s first-ever faith-based affinity group.

GRACE, announced in February, was founded “to highlight the value added by the perspective of people of faith in general, and Christians in particular to the Department and its mission.”

Using government email accounts, department portals and meeting spaces to organize and advertise, GRACE was, according to the mission statement of the group on the department website, created to advocate for religious freedom and expression within the department. It has hosted events with evangelical speakers and runs a “mentorship ministry” that brings together pairs of employees to focus on “how being a disciple of Christ impacts your professional experience at the State Department.”

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