Mike Pence: Religious Freedom Is ‘Top Priority’ Of Trump Administration

"The first freedom in the Constitution"

Not only can religious conservatives count on President Trump to aid them in the pro-life movement, he can count on them to protect their religious freedoms, according to Vice President Mike Pence.

Speaking at the first annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom this week, the vice president, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, expressed the Trump administration's commitment to protecting religious freedoms both domestically and abroad.

They were addressing representatives from over 80 nations "to discuss challenges, identify concrete ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination, and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all," according to the State Department. Victims of persecution also gave first-hand accounts of the brutality they faced.

"This event truly reflects President Trump’s ironclad commitment to protecting this important liberty," Pompeo said, which "is not exclusively an American right. It is a God-given, universal right bestowed on all of mankind."

Pompeo announced the release of the Potomac Declaration and the Potomac Plan of Action, which reaffirms the United States’ stance and "recommends concrete ways the international community and governments can do more to protect religious freedom and vulnerable religious communities."

Pence said the United States will lead the world by example in supporting religious freedom.

"The American founders enshrined religious freedom as the first freedom in the Constitution of the United States, and America has always and will always lead the world by our example," Pence said, adding that cultures with no respect for religious liberty are more violent.

"There is no escaping the plain fact that North Korea’s leadership has exacted unparalleled privation and cruelty upon its people for decades," he said.

Pence also warned that Western democracies also threaten religious freedom, highlighting the fact that "just 70 years after the Holocaust, attacks on Jews, even on aging Holocaust survivors, are growing at an alarming rate" across Europe.

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