Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Monday morning, President Trump called on nations around the world to end religious 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. Release prisoners of conscience. Repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief. Protect the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed," Trump said. "We must all work together to protect communities of every faith...Approximately 80-percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned."
"True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply-held religious beliefs," he continued. "We ask 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."
This was the first time a U.S. president has hosted an event solely focused on religious freedom at UNGA, which is consistent with the Trump administration's work on the issue.
"As President, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities," he said. "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."
"America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere," he continued.
Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was held hostage for his Christian beliefs in Turkey for two years, was in attendance. Vice President Mike Pence attended and gave remarks before the President's speech.