By James McNellis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By James McNellis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington D.C.

Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States of America, gave a speech to a large number of receptive Christian leaders at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington D.C. Pence repeated a common view prevalent among conservative Christians in U.S.: they are persecuted strongly for their Christian beliefs. The conference was organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In his speech, Pence said the Trump administration has earmarked the promotion and protection of religious freedom as a priority in U.S. foreign policy. He said the administration will advocate on behalf of individuals who are being persecuted simply for being a Christian. He turned to conference speakers who were present to share personal stories regarding persecution outside the country. The Vice President assured them, saying that they have prayers of the U.S. President. Christians suffering in Middle East have pushed Americans into fighting for their freedom and is the reason he was there that day.

As per a Pew Research Center analysis of data, both Christians and Muslims face persecution across the world. The list of persecutions involve a number of factors, including the restrictions imposed by any government on any faith group. Such activities can include efforts to banish the existence of specific faiths, stop individuals from conversion, inhibit preaching of any kind or provide preferential treatment to one or multiple religious groups. A number of other factors like individual hostilities play a role as well. Hostilities can be carried out by societal groups or organizations as well. The list of related activities could include religion fueled armed conflict, sectarian violence and harassment due to religious attire among a number of other faith centric abuse.

Religious persecution in United States, however, is not exactly as how the attendees at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians describes it. As per the 2015 FBI data, a lion's share, 52 percent, of religion caused hate crimes in U.S. were against Jews. Approximately 22 percent of Muslims reported being affected by hate crimes. Violence was also inflicted on Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants along other lesser known Christian denominations. The Trump administration has been on the dock for its Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic speeches and actions. Sharp criticism was also directed towards the proposed Muslim travel ban, although the U.S. Government denies it as so.


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