President Trump’s passion for religious liberty for everyone of faith around the world was apparent as he hosted the historic Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom. The event was held at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Sept. 23 in New York.
He was the first U.S. president to host such a meeting, something the president said was a “highest priority,” and “very sad in many ways.” With U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, Vice President Mike Pence, his Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and his new ambassador to the U.N., Kelly Craft by his side, he reminded everyone that the United States was “founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government, they come from God.”
After announcing that the U.S. would commit “$25 million to protect religious freedom, religious sites, and relics,” President Trump said that in addition, the U.S. will be “forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom.”
The president appealed to all nations of the world to allow people of faith to practice their beliefs without fear of persecution. “Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution. Stop the crimes against people of faith,” Trump said. “Release prisoners of conscience. Repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief. Protect the vulnerable, defenseless, and the oppressed.”
Additionally, he asked, “the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God,” reported The Hill.
Millions of innocent people who choose to practice Falun Gong in China, a spiritual practice from the Buddha school, have been illegally detained over the past 20 years by the Chinese Communist Party. Sent to labor camps across China, thousands were tortured to death, and because the statistics are incomplete, the total number will probably never be known.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently complimented China in an interview, “China is a country that is moving unfortunately in a more authoritarian way in a number of directions,” he told HillTV’s Krystal Ball. “But what we have to say about China in fairness to China and its leadership is if I’m not mistaken they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization, so they’ve done a lot of things for their people.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was quick to respond to Sanders’s comments. He tweeted, “Sure, the Chinese communists have wrongfully imprisoned & tortured millions, and they have murdered over 65 million people, but Bernie may have a point: when you’re dead, your poverty’s solved, right?”