Donald Trump, the Champion of Religious Freedom by Dr Michael Brown for Ask Dr Brown
In June, 2016, when candidate Trump promised a large gathering of evangelical Christian leaders that he was committed to defending our liberties, I was skeptical. Was he just trying to get our votes? Did he really care about our freedoms? Was he truly concerned that our rights were being eroded?
For more than two years, he has answered those questions emphatically. Yes, he is committed to defending our liberties. Yes, he really does care about freedoms. And yes, he is truly concerned that our rights are being eroded.
Now, the President has gone one step further, standing up for religious freedom worldwide.
As he said in an important UN gathering, “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.”
For whatever reason, this has become something very important to Trump, and as one who works with persecuted believers in different parts of the world, I can affirm that this is highly significant.
It is also historic. As widely reported online, “Donald Trump has become the first US President to ever host a meeting at the United Nations on religious freedom.”
Donald Trump, indeed.
But this time, he didn’t only draw attention to persecuted Christians, although he did mention that “11 Christians a day [are killed] for following the teaching of Christ.” (To my knowledge, this is an easily verifiable, if not very conservative, number).
Trump also spoke of Muslims and Jews who were killed for their faith: “In 2016, an 85-year-old Catholic priest was viciously killed while celebrating mass in Normandy, France. In the past year, the United States endured horrifying anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish Americans at synagogues in Pennsylvania and California. In March, Muslims praying with their families were sadistically murdered in New Zealand. On Easter Sunday this year, terrorists bombed Christian churches in Sri Lanka, killing hundreds of faithful worshippers. Who would believe this is even possible?”