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Trump pledges to protect religious freedom

In his proclamation on Religious Freedom Day on Wednesday, he called upon all Americans to take part in events and activities "that remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty and that teach us how to secure this blessing both at home and around the world".

Religious Freedom Day is celebrated in the United States each year to commemorate the Statute for Religious Freedom enacted by Virginia on 16 January 1786.

The statute was written by Thomas Jefferson to protect religious liberty and inspired the First Amendment in the US Constitution which was written a few years later.

"Unfortunately, the fundamental human right to religious freedom is under attack," said Trump in the proclamation.

"Efforts to circumscribe religious freedom, or to separate it from adjoining civil liberties, like property rights or free speech are on the rise.

"Over time, legislative and political attacks on religious freedom have given way to actual violence."

He recalled last year's attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which 11 people were killed.

"Tragically, attacks on people of faith and their houses of worship have increased in frequency in recent years," Trump continued.
Further afield, Trump said he was committed to furthering religious freedom around the world as he spoke of the "tragic reality" of persecution.

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