Trump Skips UN Climate-change Summit, Promotes Religious Freedom Instead
Written by Dave Bohon
President Trump side-stepped a highly touted global “climate change” summit called by the United Nations secretary-general September 23 in order to host an historic “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom” at the UN. During his remarks the president announced that the United States would commit $25 million to help protect religious freedom worldwide, and also said that he would be forming a coalition of U.S. businesses dedicated to protecting religious freedom in the workplace.
Early in his speech, the president declared that “with one clear voice the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution…. America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts.” He went on to say that “as President, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities and always has been.”
As part of those efforts, Mr. Trump announced: “I’ve appointed a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. We’re standing up for almost 250 million Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith.”
The president noted, “It is estimated that 11 Christians are killed every day for … following the teachings of Christ. Who would even think that’s possible in this day and age?”
Calling religious persecution a “wound on all humanity,” the president said that his administration would “dedicate an additional $25 million to protect religious freedom and religious sites and relics.”
The president also announced a coalition of U.S. businesses that 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. True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.
A number of senior Trump administration officials were present at the event, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, and Vice President Mike Pence, who also spoke to the assembly. “As the president often says,” said Pence, as he introduced President Trump, “America is a nation of faith, and we will always stand for the freedom of religion of every person, of every race and every creed, to live, to work, to worship according to the dictates of their conscience.”
Among those applauding the President on his stand against religious persecution was Johnnie Moore, an evangelical leader and member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Calling Trump’s UN address “legitimately historic,” Moore observed beforehand that the president “has decided to set his own agenda for the United Nations General Assembly, and that agenda will involve the most sweeping, focused statement on religious freedom ever delivered by any President of the United States to the United Nations.”
He added that “simply put, the President is using the full weight of the United States to force the issue of religious freedom on the agendas of world leaders of the United Nations. It is not a secondary issue to the United States. It is an organizing principle for the United States and ought to be for all global leaders.”
Following Trump’s remarks, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and head of the USCIRF, commented, “The president delivered a historic speech that goes beyond talking about international religious freedom to taking tangible steps that will lead to people of all faiths being able to securely and publicly worship.”
Trump was heavily criticized by the major media for scheduling the religious freedom event at the same time as the UN secretary-general’s own high-profile climate-change summit on September 23. The focus of the summit, according to an official UN memo, was “new initiatives by government, business, and civil society to increase their commitments to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and work toward reducing emissions to essentially zero by mid-century.”
As reported by the Epoch Times,
“Trump announced in 2017 that the United States would leave the Paris climate accord, citing the disproportionately negative effects it would have on U.S. businesses and jobs. This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,’ Trump said in his speech when announcing the decision. The Trump administration also withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2018, saying the organization wasn’t worthy of its name.”
Courtesy of The New American