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The US President presents a plan that includes the creation of “a coalition of businesses for the protection of religious freedom”.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, presented his country on Monday to the UN as a “welcoming place for victims of religious persecution in the world”.
The US government organized the meeting at the same time as the Climate Change Summit that brought together dozens of leaders at the UN headquarters.
Trump did not plan to attend but finally came by surprise and sat for a few minutes in the auditorium, without intervening.
The promotion of religious freedom in the world has become a priority for Trump, who is supported by Vice President Mike Pence and the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who are evangelical Christians.
ANTONIO GUTERRES: “PERSECUTION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IS UNACCEPTABLE”
Pence spoke at the meeting just before Trump and denounced that “the regime of Daniel Ortega is virtually waging war on the Catholic church in Nicaragua, and in Venezuela, the dictator Nicolás Maduro uses anti-hate laws to prosecute clergy, even as his media cronies spread anti-Semitism by trivializing the Holocaust”.
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, also participated in the meeting, and said that “the persecution of religious minorities is completely unacceptable" and breaks my heart”.
"We must do everything we can to avoid the religious cleansing of societies”, Guterres added.
25 MILLION DOLLARS TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
“No matter the case, America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere. No matter where you go, you have a place in the United States of America”, Trump pointed out in his speech to the UN.
He also announced that “the United States has committed an additional $25 million to the cause of protecting religious freedom and to preventing the intentional destruction of religious sites and relics”.
A COALITION OF BUSINESSES TO FIGHT FOR RELIGIPUS FREEDOM
Additionally, the US Administration “is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom, which will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace”.
“Today, I ask all nations to join us in this urgent, moral duty. This is the first time this has been done”, Trump added.
He did not name the group members, but said he would “include some of the people in this room, who are among the most successful men and women on Earth. Great business leaders, great people of strength”.
TRUMP: “WE URGE TO INCREASE PROSECUTION OF CRIMES AGAINST RELIGIOUS FREEDOM”
Trump mentioned some of the most violent hate crimes against believers worldwide, such as the massacre of Muslims in a New Zealand mosque, the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka and the massacre of Jews in Pittsburgh and the Poway synagogues in California.
“These evil attacks are a wound on all humanity. We must all work together to protect communities of every faith. We are also urging every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities”, the US President said.
According to Trump “there can be no greater crime than that. This includes measures to prevent the intentional destruction of religious sites and relics”.
“Honour the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God, stop the crimes against people of faith, release prisoners of conscience, protect the vulnerable, the defenceless, and the oppressed”, he asked the audience.
US VETO TO MUSLIMS
Trump claim that these groups “have a place in the US” contradicts his 2016 election promise to “completely and totally ban the entry of Muslims” into the country, a goal he tried to implement with several versions of his migratory veto.
This veto remains in force and prevents entry into the US. of the citizens of several Muslim-majority countries: Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, in addition to imposing restrictions on some Venezuelan and North Korean citizens.
Trump's words also came at a time when his government is considering reducing to zero the number of refugees that can enter the United States each year. In 2019 it already has a limit of 30,000, the lowest level since 1980.
TRUMP ALSO ADDRESSED UN ASSEMBLY
President Trump also delivered an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, where he praised his accomplishments in the US government and spoke against “globalists”.
He also criticised Iran government, the trade practices of China, and Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro.
Furthermore, Trump acknowledged that he withheld foreign aid from Ukraine, but insisted he didn't use the money as leverage to demand an investigation by Kiev into his top political rival, Joe Biden.