President Donald Trump called an end on all kinds of violence and terrorism against people of faith, saying that “all civilized nations must join together in this effort.”
Speaking at a National Day of Prayer service hosted by the White House on May 2, 2019, Trump condemned the attacks on places of worship in the country and abroad, reports The New Zealand Herald.
As we unite on this day of prayer, we renew our resolve to protect communities of faith and ensure that all people and all of our people can live, pray and worship in peace. —US President Donald Trump
“We mourn for the Christians murdered in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and grieve for the Muslims murdered at their mosques in New Zealand,” Trump said. “Here at home, we also remember the three historically black churches burned recently in Louisiana and the horrific shooting last year at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.”
He added that, “America will be a nation that believes forever, and we certainly believe – more than anyone – the power of prayer. It’s the most powerful thing there is.”
Trump honored the victims of Jewish-Americans who were killed and wounded during a gun rampage at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California last week.
“As we unite on this day of prayer, we renew our resolve to protect communities of faith and ensure that all people and all of our people can live, pray and worship in peace,” Trump proclaimed.
Christians, among other religious minorities, are targeted for their faith. According to a recent report from the British Foreign Office, Christians are the most persecuted religious groups. Religious violence is so extreme that Christianity is at risk of disappearing.
In the Middle East where the oldest Christian communities are located, the number of Christians is on a steady decline.
The Interim Report revealed that Christians in Syria dropped to less than 450,000 from 1.7 million in 2011, in Iraq, the Christian population is now less than 120,000 from 1.5 million in 2003, and the Christian segment in Palestine is less than 1.5% of the country’s population.
The report highlighted Iran, Iraq, and Turkey where religious persecution is tolerated even by the government, according to The Arab Weekly. The Turkish government prevents Christians from practicing their faith by implementing strict policies on places of worships. The administration’s Justice and Development Party “depicts Christians as a ‘threat to the stability of the nation.’”
“Given the scale of persecution of Christians today, indications that it is getting worse and that its impact involves the decimation of some of the faith group’s oldest and most enduring communities, the need for governments to give increasing priority and specific targeted support to this faith community is not only necessary but increasingly urgent,” the report read.