He met with Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who spent nearly two years in a Turkish prison and under house arrest on charges of espionage and supporting a terrorist group. He was released when the U.S. reached an agreement with Turkey in October of 2018. Bruson has maintained he was in Turkey only to spread Christianity.
"To me, President Erdogan was very good," President Trump told Brunson of the Turkish president under whose authority Brunson was imprisoned.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has described Turkey's religious freedom conditions as "worrisome" with religious minorities concerned that "governmental rhetoric and policies contributed to an increasingly hostile environment and implicitly encouraged acts of societal aggression and violence."
Erdogan recently re-converted Hagia Sophia, the former cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Istanbul and a UNESCO World Heritage site, into a mosque; he also decided to re-convert the 700-year-old Chora Church into a mosque.
The issues of religious freedom and school choice were mentioned multiple times at Monday's convention proceedings.
Rebecca Friedrichs, a California elementary school teacher who took on the state's teachers' union in a case that went to the Supreme Court, touted Trump's support for "education freedom scholarships."
Donald Trump, Jr. also pointed to his father's support for school choice "It is unacceptable that too many African American and Hispanic American children are stuck in bad schools just because of their zip code. Donald Trump will not stand for it," he said.
Both he and Charlie Kirk brought up churches being closed or seriously limited in their seating capacity by state public health mandates during the coronavirus pandemic, while outdoor protests are allowed to continue.
Noting restrictions in place across the country to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, Kirk said that in America, "you can freely practice your religion and that church is more essential than a casino."