President Trump gave quite the knockout speech at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week, but his address didn’t focus on Iran, China, North Korea, or the myriad other geopolitical threats facing the international community.
Instead, President Trump stole the show with his full-throated defense of religious freedom.
The event, called the Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom, was organized by the president, who also provided the keynote address. This marked the first time a sitting United States president has hosted such a meeting at the United Nations, which President Trump called “long overdue.”
Addressing an audience of UN officials, foreign dignitaries, victims of religious persecution, religious clergy and business leaders, President Trump issued a clarion call to the nations of the world: “Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution.”
The president shined most brightly when he appealed to the legacy of the American founding:
“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.”
He also shared his disbelief when his staff told him that 83 percent of the world population lives in nations where religious freedom is threatened or restricted. “When I heard that number, I said, ‘Please go back and check it because it can’t possibly be correct.’ And, sadly, it was.”
Family Policy Alliance stands behind President Trump’s message to the international community and his push to protect religious liberty both within the United States and abroad. Every person – regardless of their religion – should be left free to live in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs, without fear of violence or government retribution.
It’s important to keep making progress on this issue. Although the president has made meaningful reforms protecting and promoting the promise of religious liberty, we still have much work left to do. That’s why Family Policy Alliance actively seeks to strengthen religious liberty protections through promoting policies that honor the rights of:
- clergy and business owners to operate their churches and businesses according to the tenets of their faith;
- parents to raise and educate their children according to their religious convictions; and
- all individuals, regardless of their faith, to be free from governmental coercion and punishment for what they believe.
Family Policy Alliance believes that America is at her best when religious liberty flourishes, and we are happy to report that our president feels the same. This fundamental freedom is still denied to many men and women throughout the world, but thankfully, the United States is once again reasserting herself as a beacon of hope to the world, standing by the side of all who seek religious freedom.
From all of us, thank you, Mr. President.
Director of Advocacy – Idaho