One of the focuses of the Trump administration has been protecting Christianity, especially Christian minorities in the Middle East who face persecution at the hands of Islamofascist jihadis. Now President Donald Trump is making good on his promise to defend those who can’t defend themselves.
According to The Washington Times, President Trump is bypassing the United Nations, cutting off US money normally given to the UN to help Middle Eastern Christians, and, instead, moving to continue that work directly.
Vice President Mike Pence announced the change in policy Wednesday night at the In Defense of Christians solidarity dinner in Washington, saying the State Department will stop funding for “ineffective” United Nations programs.
“From this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID,” said Vice President Pence. He made clear that the White House seeks to take a more independent approach to providing relief for persecuted Christians.
“We will no longer rely on the United Nations alone to assist persecuted Christians and minorities in the wake of genocide and the atrocities of terrorist groups,” he continued, calling the UN’s efforts in the region insufficient.
The Vice President criticized the UN’s allocation of funds, charging that it does not cooperate efficiently with local groups and that it sends money to areas with little to no populations of Christians.
“While faith-based groups with proven track records and deep roots in these communities are more than willing to assist, the United Nations too often denies their funding requests,” Vice President Pence declared. “My friends, those days are over. This is the moment. Now is the time. And America will support these people in their hour of need.”
Vice President Pence told the gathering of faith leaders that the Obama administration “devoted well over a billion dollars in humanitarian aid to the Middle East, but routed the lion’s share through programs run by the United Nations.”
The problem with this, the Vice President asserted, is that “the United Nations has too often failed to help the most vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities. The result has been that countless people continue to suffer and struggle needlessly.”
For the Vice President, US help for persecuted Christians is a duty that goes beyond the shared religion and to a “common bond” of humanity. “And so as a nation, we pledge to support them in these trying times, and every day — every day — I know the American people offer forth a chorus of prayers for these communities from our hearts to the heart of heaven,” he said.
Although the UN claims to have more than 160 projects in Christian areas, Vice President Pence says “for a third of those projects, there are no Christians to help.” The Vice President’s remarks were praised by those in attendance and by leading Christian groups.
President Trump has bypassed the UN and decided to help persecuted Christians directly. Is this the right thing to do?
Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus–the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization–spoke positively about the Trump administration’s decision.
“The hope this announcement will give to Christians in the Middle East,” Anderson said. “And the real world impact it will have on the survival of threatened minority communities — cannot be underestimated.”