U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says protecting religious liberty is a moral imperative that defends society against violent extremist.
Biden received the Athenagoras Human Rights Award at a ceremony on October 17 in New York. It's the highest award bestowed by the Greek Orthodox Church.
Biden said terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State pervert Islam to justify horrific acts.
He said the United States will be strong as long as it's a beacon for human rights.
Biden said religious values are entirely consistent with civic values in the United States.
He credited his Catholic faith for giving him "refuge and reassurance."
Biden didn't comment on his possible presidential bid. One of his top advisers says he'll make a decision in the near future.