President Trump’s United Nations Address
Why We Must Act to Preserve Religious Freedom
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.
These evil attacks are a wound on all humanity. We must all work together to protect communities of every faith.
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.
It is estimated that 11 Christians are killed every 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?
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. In 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 worshipers. Who would believe this is even possible?
We can see the shadow of this persecution looming over the landscape of our nation. Our news headlines show religious discrimination rising in America, so we know that it is no longer unthinkable that oppression could be on the near horizon. We already see its insidious presence creeping across the western European democracies.
But there is another reason why we must act to protect religious liberty. We must act, not just to protect our future liberties, but to speak for those who and cannot speak for themselves.
No matter the case, America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere.
A report commissioned by the British government noted the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution and its increasing severity, rising to the level of genocide. According to the report, this is resulting in a mass Christian exodus and threatens to wipe out Christianity from the cradle of its birth in the Middle East.
President Trump embraces our obligation to be a voice for the voiceless. During his UN address, the President pledged an additional $25 million to protect religious freedom, and religious sites and relics. He also announced that he is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom. It will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.
This underscores the need to preserve our freedom so we can preserve America. Surely America has a role of reaching far beyond our borders to offer hope and inspire freedom across the globe.
Our President understands this duty. He also understands the vital role that business can play in leveraging its leadership and expertise towards preserving and advancing foundational values, such as liberty, and religious freedom.
Let us all be committed to preserving America’s foundational values so that we can not only pass them on to future American generations, but so that we may be that “light on a hill” to shine as beacon to those who aspire to freedom around the globe.
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