The White House announced on Wednesday that President Donald Trump will host and keynote a Protect Religious Freedom event during the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
“The president will call on the international community to take concrete steps to prevent attacks against people on the basis of their religion or beliefs and to ensure the sanctity of houses of worship and all public spaces for all faiths,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. Vice President Mike Pence will introduce the president at the event.
Others, like Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins, praised Trump for his leadership on protecting religious freedom around the world. “We are grateful for President Trump’s bold decisive leadership on international religious freedom,” Perkins told Breitbart in a statement about the event.
“The Trump administration’s record is witness to the fact that they clearly understand the foundational role international religious freedom plays in our national security, as well as the economic and social stability of foreign nations,” Perkins continued. “History will record President Trump was right in making religious freedom a top priority in our nation’s foreign policy.”
Trump leads the world
Religious persecution has seemed to increase in recent years in countries like China, which have seen increasing reports of churches being shut down or even burned for failing to toe the official state line.
But FRC Vice President Travis Weber said that the United States under Trump’s leadership has “already distinguished itself as a global leader” on the issue of religious freedom.
He later urged Trump to take action on key areas of global religious freedom in a Town Hall op-ed.
Indeed, Weber wants to see Trump encourage all nations to train diplomats on religious freedom and thinks he should condemn the use of counter-terrorism to disguise religious oppression. He also called on Trump to condemn the use of technology to suppress religious freedom and encourage leaders to protect places of worship.
Religious freedom in the USA
For its part, the U.S. has taken more steps to protect the ability of Americans to act on their religious beliefs in key areas since Trump took office, particularly with the addition of more conservative judges to the Supreme Court.
While the U.S. has not infringed on the ability of Americans to worship freely at churches, mosques, and other houses of worship, recent court cases have thrown into question the ability of citizens who own businesses to refuse to perform certain duties if they conflict with deeply held religious beliefs.
One recent case affirmed that two artists did not have to create wedding invitations for a gay wedding because their religious beliefs affirmed a traditional view of marriage.
President Trump recognizes that other nations may persecute religious people much more than the U.S., but he is also determined to keep America a place where any religion can be practiced in freedom and without fear of negative consequences. Good on him.