President Trump gave a historic speech at the United Nations on the importance of religious freedom. He stated the U.S. is “founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God.” He said governments should protect the right to believe and live out one’s faith. He called religious persecution a “wound on all humanity” and committed to protect believers of “all” faiths.

President Trump said people of many faiths (Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Yazidis, etc.) are persecuted or murdered just for expressing their religious belief. Pastor Andrew Brunson, imprisoned in Turkey for two years, was freed with the help of the Trump administration and was present at the UN meeting along with other survivors.

President Trump reminded everyone of people murdered in their houses of worship: the anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish Americans in synagogues; the murder of Muslims at mosques in New Zealand; and the Christians in Sri Lanka whose churches were bombed on Easter.

The president informed everyone that “approximately 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned.” Thousands are displaced, persecuted, or killed because of their religious faith. It’s estimated that 11 Christians are killed each day for their faith.

Speaking to many foreign heads of state at the UN, President Trump made history as the first sitting president to highlight the right of religious freedom. He should be applauded for his courage to call all nations to protect religious freedom.

Diana Gilbert

Niceville, Florida

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