Freedom of Religion; Stop Persecution of Christians
Trump reversing ‘devastating trend,’ says Christian leader
‘Destructive Obama-era policies’ on president’s chopping block
President Donald Trump called for a united effort to make America better to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, inviting all to join in restoring the nation’s economy, defense and more.
But a prominent Christian leader in attendance said what struck him was Trump’s commitment to religious freedom.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “Tonight President Trump gave encouragement to Americans of all backgrounds who have suffered the loss of their freedoms, especially religious liberty, because of destructive Obama-era policies.
Perkins said Trump “is taking his first steps to reverse the devastating trend of the government punishing those who live their life according to their deeply held beliefs.”
“That’s why it’s no surprise that recent polling finds the most enthusiastic supporters of Trump are evangelicals, the same ones who helped deliver one of the most stunning upsets in election history,” he said. “President Trump understands that if Americans don’t have the freedom to live according to their faith – whether it’s in the home, in the workplace, or in school – then we really can’t be free. That’s why I remain confident that President Trump will sign an executive order reinstating government-wide protections for religious liberty.”
Perkins noted Trump’s comments about rebuilding the military and charged that the policies of the previous administration dealt with the troops “as a laboratory of liberal social experimentation.”
“These policies have led to chaplains being disciplined for their faith, and religious speech being censored. Religious liberty in the military needs to be reinforced with policies that reflect the law, which allows men and women to not only believe, but act on those beliefs,” he said.
“I am hopeful that tonight’s speech will provide new momentum toward fulfilling the GOP’s promise of dismantling the disastrous Obamacare law and ending the forced partnership between taxpayers and organizations like Planned Parenthood. We are committed to assisting the president and congressional leaders in repealing and replacing Obamacare with a program that is patient-centered and respects the principle that federal funding and subsidies do not go to health care plans which include abortion.
“Tonight, President Trump opened the door wider to solutions that put America back on the right track. As the president continues to fulfill his promises, I believe he will see more Americans rally to his side to join him in making freedom mean something again in America.”
The House Freedom Caucus released a statement praising Trump for laying out “a bold, forward-looking vision for the country that puts the needs of Main Street before those of Washington, D.C.”
“Since his first day in office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to keep his campaign promises: from undoing President Obama’s jobs-killing regulatory regime, to taking action to secure our nation,” the caucus said.
“As President Trump alluded to this evening, there’s much work to be done ahead. We were pleased the president reaffirmed his commitment to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, market-driven policy. We share his vision and will work to develop a repeal and replace strategy that does just that.”
Protecting Christians, fighting terror? Russia’s on it
Syrian priest: ‘It is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to Vladimir Putin’
A few years ago, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who then was Russia’s ambassador to NATO, warned that a new influence had appeared that was becoming a major threat to large segments of the world, namely, Asia, Europe and America.
“There is a new civilization emerging in the Third World that thinks that the white, Northern Hemisphere has always oppressed it and must therefore fall at its feet now. … If the northern civilization wants to protect itself, it must be united: America, the European Union and Russia. If they are not together, they will be defeated one by one,” he said.
He was primarily referring to radical Islam. And America, with its Christian foundation, Europe, with its own Judeo-Christian heritage, and even Russia, with its historic Russian Orthodox Christian church, would appear to have reason to join ranks.
So why would the American political elite be so averse to pursuing better relations with Russia, as President Donald Trump has suggested?
After all, every president in recent years has stated essentially the same goal. Remember then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “reset” under President Obama?
But opposition to Trump’s suggestions have been loud and long, despite what some have seen as extraordinary efforts on the part of Russia to protect Christians.
It was a 76-year old Flemish priest from the sixth-century Mar Yakub monastery in the Syrian city of Qara who put the issue in the context he understood best, his own life.
“It is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power… Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. … Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.”
Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”
In Europe, many of the newly sprung nationalist, anti-globalist and anti-EU parties have expressed admiration for Russia’s defense of traditional values, along with European Christian intellectuals, who despair over Western Europe’s abandonment of its spiritual roots.
In the Balkans, Russia is the sole power standing up for Christians persecuted by Islamists and has refused to recognize the Western condoned secession of Kosovo from Serbia and the Muslim Albanians ISIS-like destruction of the millennial Christian Church heritage there.
And Archbishop Vsevovlod Chaplin declared, “Any fight against terrorism is moral; we can even call it a holy fight.”
The Kremlin said, “The two leaders emphasized that joining efforts in fighting the main threat – international terrorism – is a top priority. The presidents spoke out for establishing real coordination of actions between Russia and the U.S. aimed at defeating Islamic State and other terrorists groups in Syria.”