President Trump hosted a dinner of Evangelical leaders at the White House Monday night and told them that he has delivered “just about everything I promised” on policies of religious liberty and defense of life.
“The support you’ve given me has been incredible,” Mr. Trump told the group. “But I really don’t feel guilty because I have given you a lot back, just about everything I promised.”
Among those attending the event were the Rev. Franklin Graham, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Pastor Paula White, a prominent spiritual adviser to the president.
Mr. Trump said under his administration, “the attacks on the communities of faith are over.” He cited actions to defend the religious conscience of health-care workers, teachers, students and religious employers; executive branch guidance on protecting religious liberty, and proposed regulations to bar taxpayer money from subsidizing abortion.
“Unlike some before us, we are protecting your religious liberty,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re standing for religious believers, because we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. And we know that freedom is a gift from our Creator.”
The president also emphasized his administration’s efforts to stop religious persecution around the globe, citing action aimed at forcingTurkey to release Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is still being detained on charges of fomenting a coup. He and the administration say the charges are false.
“My administration has strongly spoken out against religious persecution around the world, including the persecution of Christians,” the president said. “And for that, we’ve become not only a strong voice but a very, very powerful force. We’re stopping a lot of bad things from happening.”
He praised the work of the Evangelical leaders and said, “Together, we will uplift our nation in prayer, defend the sanctity of life, and forever proudly remain one nation under God.”