HIGHLIGHTS | President Trump Leads a United Nations Event on Religious Freedom
“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.” – President Donald J. Trump
Today, President Trump became the first sitting President to host a U.N. meeting on religious freedom and called for global action to end the scourge of religious persecution.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Today, it’s a true honor to be the first President of the United States to host a meeting at the United Nations on religious freedom. And an honor it is.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon all the nations of the world to end religious persecution. 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.”
All around the world, people of all faiths are persecuted simply for expressing their deeply-held religious beliefs.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “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.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world. Approximately 80% of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “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 following — just think of this, 11 Christians a day for following the teachings of Christ.”
Devastating acts of violence against places of worship are occurring all across the world.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “In recent times, the world has also witnessed devastating acts of violence in sacred places of worship. In 2016, an 85-year old Catholic priest was viciously killed while celebrating mass in Normandy, France. The past year, the United States endured horrifying anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish-Americans at synagogues in Pennsylvania and California. In March, Muslims praying with their families were sadistically murdered in New Zealand. On Easter Sunday this year, terrorists bombed Christian churches in Sri Lanka killing hundreds of faithful worshippers.”
These attacks are a wound on all of humanity. President Trump is announcing new action to help combat this crisis and hopes that other nations will join him.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “These evil attacks are a wound on all humanity. We must all work together to protect communities of every faith.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re also urging every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities. There can be no greater crime than that. This includes measures to prevent the intentional destruction of religious sites and relics. Today, the Trump Administration will dedicate an additional $25 million to protect religious freedom and religious sites and relics.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re also pleased to be joined today by many of the partners from the business community as we announce a very critical initiative. The United States is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom. This is the first time this has been done. This initiative will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.”
Our nation’s founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful and prosperous society than freedom of religion.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “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.”
President Trump has taken significant steps to protect religious freedom, both at home and around the world.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “As President, protecting religious freedom is one my highest priorities and always has been.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I’m very proud to say that we’ve obliterated the Johnson Amendment within our country. So that now, we can listen to the people that we want to listen to – religious leaders – without recrimination against them.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I’ve appointed a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Last year, our Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. In this year’s Ministerial, Secretary Pompeo announced plans to create the International Religious Freedom Alliance.”
America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “With us today is Pastor Andrew Brunson who was imprisoned in Turkey for a long period of time. Last year my administration was thrilled to bring him back home after a very short and respectful negotiation with a very strong man – and a man who’s become a friend of mine, fortunately – President Erdogan of Turkey.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “In July, I met with survivors of religious persecution at the White House. And we’re honored that many of them could be here today, as well. Some of these individuals suffered as a result of state-sponsored persecution, others at the hands of terrorists and criminals. No matter the case, America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere. No matter where you go, you have a place in the United States of America.”