President Trump urged the global community to protect religious people from persecution Monday, on the outskirts of the United Nations General Assembly. The Trump administration has emphasized supporting religious freedoms, particularly for Christians although the president mentioned other faiths Monday as well.
The president announced the U.S. is dedicating $25 million more towards religious freedom, although it's unclear how that will be used. Mr. Trump urged for all nations of the world to end religious persecution, and to allow for people of all faiths to practice their deeply held beliefs. The president expressed incredulity over the lack of religious freedom in many parts of the world, speaking at times as if he'd never heard it was so widespread before becoming president.
"Today, I ask all nations to join us in this urgent moral duty," the president said during his speech. "We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God. The United States has a vital role in this critical mission."
Mr. Trump touted his administration's focus on religious freedom and issues, and work to free hostages like pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey. He emphasized, as he does at rallies and events with a religious crowd that the United States is "founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government, they come from God."
Shortly before his religious freedom address, Mr. Trump made a late, brief appearance at a daylong U.N. summit of world leaders who are meeting to address the effects of.