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ICC Note: On May 4, President Trump signed an executive order focused on protecting religious freedom in the US at an interfaith gathering. The order directs the US Department of Justice to create guidelines that prevent the national government from infringing upon the religious freedoms of citizens. While many are encouraged by the call for the better protection of religious freedom, some critics argue that the order was too vague to be implemented effectively.

By Heather Clark

05/04/2017 United States (Christian News Network) – During an interfaith gathering at the White House, President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday—the National Day of Prayer—upholding religious freedom in the nation and directing departments in his administration to ensure that the rights of religious Americans are not infringed.

“We are a nation of believers. Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country,” he said, delivering a speech from the White House rose garden, surrounded by various evangelical, Catholic and Jewish leaders, including Paula White, Jack Graham and Donald Wuerl.

Orthodox, Muslim and Sikh representatives also sat in the audience, and Trump advised that he would be traveling to Rome, Saudi Arabia and Israel this month—the centers of Roman Catholic, Muslim and Jewish faiths.

Trump noted that in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called the nation’s inhabitants to prayer, fearing that Americans had become “too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

In addition to recognizing the National Day of Prayer, Trump outlined that he would be signing an executive order protecting religious freedom, which took place immediately following his speech.

“Freedom is not a gift from government; it is a gift from God,” he said. “Our founding fathers believed that religious liberty was so fundamental that they enshrined it in the First Amendment of our great and beloved Constitution.”

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