United States President Donald Trump at United Nations Headquarters

Hosting a high-level meeting on the protection of religious freedoms at United Nations Headquarters

 23 Sep 2019 

United States President Donald Trump today (23 Sep 2019 ) said “no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions,” but added that “the religious freedom enjoyed by living humans is rare in the world.”

Trump said, “The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government, they come from God.” He said, “America stands with believers in every nation who asks only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts.”

The US President urged “every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities” and announced a US contribution of “25 million dollars to protect religious freedoms and religious sites and relics.”

For his part, Secretary-General António Guterres said, “it is totally unacceptable in the 21st century for people to face discrimination and intimidation for their beliefs. And the persecution of religious minorities is utterly intolerable.” He said, “the full scope of their human rights is guaranteed, and States have an obligation to implement policies that ensure their identities are respected and that they feel fully part of society as a whole.”

The United States delegation included Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Ambassador Kelly Craft, senior adviser Ivanka Trump, and other officials.