Dr. David Curry, president, and CEO of Open Doors USA, says, “I don’t think any sitting President has ever made such strong statements in support of religious liberty at the United Nations.”
There were nearly 100 foreign leaders at the U.N. for the General Assembly, and President Trump encouraged all nations to work together to protect the religious heritage of their lands. “That was greatly encouraging and the practical steps he laid out: steps to try to protect sacred places, churches, mosques, synagogues, and other things, I think, were very helpful and practical steps to be taken to protect religious liberty.”
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Trump and lent support for the initiative. The assembly also heard from people affected by religious persecution, like Pastor Andrew Brunson, who spent over two years behind bars in Turkey.
What’s so important about religious freedom?
How seriously the United Nations took the speech remains unknown, even as President Trump urged the world’s leaders to “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.”
Curry says religious freedom ties directly into security issues. “What people need to understand is that persecution of Christians, and religious liberty as a whole is a leading indicator of when an area is going to tip into chaos.”
He goes on to add, “You have the same thing in the north of Nigeria.” In 2009, a ragtag band of Nigerian rebels got training and funding and became Boko Haram, or Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Pointing to South Asia, he says, “I think you’ve got the same kind of thing developing in India, where you have 200% increase in the persecution and attacks on Christians since Prime Minister Modi took charge.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama