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Trump: Faith 'Central to American Life and Liberty'

  • VOA News

President Donald Trump speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 8, 2018, in Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump says the rights of people are bestowed upon them by God and that "faith is central to American life and to liberty."

Speaking Thursday at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Trump said, "Our rights are not given to us by man, our rights come to us by our creator. No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away."

Trump said faith has been the driving force behind the tireless efforts in the past year to seek "justice and peace" in the battle against the Islamic State militant group.

He said, "For years ISIS had brutally tortured and murdered Christians, Jews, religious minorities and countless Muslims." ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State.

Trump touted the coalition effort to defeat IS during the past year, saying it has "liberated almost 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and all throughout Syria."

It was Trump's second-straight appearance at the breakfast, a nondenominational event hosted by The Fellowship Foundation, a U.S.-based religious group that promotes the teachings of Jesus.

Every president since Dwight Eisenhower, who served in the White House from 1953 to 1961, has attended the breakfast, which has historically attracted evangelicals and has been attended by thousands of people from all over the world.

Trump is fervently supported by evangelical Christians, who helped him win the 2016 presidential election.

Christians have applauded many of the president's actions during his first year in the White House, including attempts to weaken rules governing political activity by certain religious groups, his recognition of Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and his appointment of conservative judges.

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