Trump Will Become First U.S. President to Deliver Religious Freedom Speech at the United Nations

Posted: Sep 23, 2019 10:10 AM
Trump Will Become First U.S. President to Deliver Religious Freedom Speech at the United Nations

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

On Monday morning, Donald Trump will become the first sitting United States President to give a speech at the United Nations General Assembly solely focused on religious liberty.

"President Donald J. Trump will host and provide keynote remarks at the Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom event on Monday, September 23, 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released in a statement. "The President is working to broaden international support for ongoing efforts to protect religious freedom in the wake of increasing persecution of people on the basis of their beliefs and a growing number of attacks on and destruction of houses of worship by state and non-state actors. 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."

Vice President Mike Pence and a number of evangelical leaders will attend.

According to a number of studies and surveys, Christians continue to be the most persecuted religious group in the world, even nearing levels of genocide.

After his speech on religious freedom, President Trump will lead a full day of meetings, starting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan and then with the Presidents of Poland, Singapore, Egypt and South Korea. He is staying in Trump Tower.

During his tenure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made religious freedom a  priority at the State Department. 

"The protection of religious freedom is central to the Trump administration’s foreign policy, and protecting this human right is an essential part of who we are as Americans," Pompeo has said.

Earlier this year, Pompeo held the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Liberty in Washington D.C. Thousands of people from all over the world attended. 

"The Ministerial reaffirmed international commitments to promote religious freedom for all and focus on concrete outcomes that produce durable, positive change. A broad range of stakeholders convened to discuss challenges, identify concrete ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination, and ensure greater respect for freedom of religion or belief," the State Department published in July. "The 2019 Ministerial was the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world. With more than 1,000 civil society and religious leaders, and more than 100 foreign delegations invited, this year’s gathering marked the first time a Secretary of State has convened back-to-back Ministerials on the same human rights issue. Last year’s inaugural Ministerial was the first-ever to focus solely on the unalienable human right of religious freedom."