President Trump Announces $25 Million to Protect Religious Freedom Around the World

President Donald Trump speaks as he meets with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the InterContinental Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks as he meets with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the InterContinental Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump on Monday announced $25 million in funding to protect religious freedom and religious sites around the world, and asked the world’s governments to join together to end religious persecution.

Trump also announced an initiative comprised of a “coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom.”

Trump was speaking at a meeting on religious persecution he convened at the United Nations, with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and other international officials in attendance. Vice President Mike Pence said Trump was the first American president to hold a meeting at the U.N. on religious persecution.

The $25 million, Trump said, will go toward protecting religious freedom, religious sites and relics.

“We’re … urging every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities,” Trump said. “There can be no greater crime than that.”

The initiative involving business, he said, will “encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.”

“Too often, people in positions of power preach diversity, while silencing, shunning or censoring the faithful,” Trump said. “True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.”

Trump listed several examples of religious persecution: the Easter bombings of churches in Sri Lanka, the murder of an 85-year-old Catholic priest in France, anti-Semitic attacks at synagogues in Pennsylvania and California, and the murder of Muslims in New Zealand.

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Source: Christian Headlines