Trump: Protecting religious freedom is ‘one of my highest priorities’

He also revealed another initiative: the US will form a coalition of businesses that support the protection of religious freedom.

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September 24, 2019 02:02
1 minute read.
Trump: Protecting religious freedom is ‘one of my highest priorities’

Donald Trump . (photo credit: TASOS KATOPODIS/ REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump hosted a meeting regarding religious freedom around the world and vowed to protect people of faith across the globe at the UN on Monday.

“As president, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities and always has been,” he said.

In his remarks, Trump announced that his administration would dedicate an additional $25 million “to protect religious freedom and religious sites and relics.” He also revealed another initiative: the US will form a coalition of businesses that support the protection of religious freedom.

“This is the first time this has been done,” Trump said. “This initiative will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faith in the workplace, and the private sector has brilliant leadership. Too often, people in positions of power preach diversity while silencing, shunning or censoring the faithful. True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.”

This is the first time that a meeting on religious freedom is taking place during the UN General Assembly.

“It’s long overdue,” said Trump. “And I was shocked when I was given that statistic that I would be the first.”
Many top US officials, including VP Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft attended the event. UN Secretary-General  Antonio Guterres and dozens of diplomats and religious figures attended as well.

Trump mentioned some of the most violent hate crimes against people of faith around the world, such as the massacre of Muslims in a New Zealand mosque, the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka and the massacre of Jews inside synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway, California.


“These evil attacks are a wound on all [of] humanity,” Trump said. “We must all work together to protect communities of every faith. 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.”




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