Yesterday, President Trump took a break from the climate change frenzy whipped up by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg to promote religious freedom. In a packed U.N. auditorium, Trump noted that the right of religious freedom comes not from human governments, but from God Himself. He urged nations of the world to end religious persecution.
“The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God. This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.”
“Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world. Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned. And when I heard that number, I said, ‘Please go back and check it because it can’t possibly be correct.’ And, sadly, it was. Eighty percent.”
“As we speak, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Yazidis, and many other people of faith are being jailed, sanctioned, tortured, and even murdered, often at the hands of their own government, simply for expressing their deeply held religious beliefs. So hard to believe.”
“Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution.”
Last year at the UN, Secretary of State Pompeo, hosted the first-ever Ministerial [a UN meeting of high government officials addressed to a specific topic] to Advance International Religious Freedom. In this year’s ministerial, Secretary Pompeo announced plans to create the International Religious Freedom Alliance — an alliance of like-minded nations devoted to confronting religious persecution all around the world. President Trump has also appointed a special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.
The president also announced that the U.S. is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom, the first time this has been done. The coalition will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.
“To stop the crimes against people of faith, release prisoners of conscience, repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief, protect the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed, America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts. As President, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities and always has been.”
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“We’re standing up for almost 250 million Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith. It is estimated that 11 Christians are killed every day for the following — I mean, just think of this: Eleven Christians a day, for following the teachings of Christ. Who would even think that’s possible in this day and age? Who would think it’s possible?”
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“Today, I ask all nations to join us in this urgent moral duty. We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God. The United States has a vital role in this critical mission.”
A transcript of the speech is here.
Video is here: