Washington D.C., Jan 16, 2019 / 14:17 pm
Religious freeom is innate and must be protected, US president Donald Trump said in his proclamation for Religious Freedom Day, which is observed Wednesday.
"On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate our Nation's long-standing commitment to freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one's own faith," Trump said in his proclamation for the Jan. 16 observance. "The right to religious freedom is innate to the dignity of every human person and is foundational to the pursuit of truth."
He said many of America's settlers, including the Pilgrims, "fled their home countries to escape religious persecution. Aware of this history, our Nation's Founding Fathers readily understood that a just government must respect the deep yearning for truth and openness to the transcendent that are part of the human spirit. For this reason, from the beginning, our constitutional republic has endeavored to protect a robust understanding of religious freedom."
Trump noted that Virginia enacted a Statute for Religious Freedom Jan. 16, 1786, "to protect the right of individual conscience and religious exercise and to prohibit the compulsory support of any church."