America can be proud to be that 'shining city on a hill' where men and women of faith can worship freely without fear of persecution, according Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence, a devout evangelical Christian, was speaking on behalf of President Donald Trump at the first-ever World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.
He also tweeted:
America was, & is, & ever will be that gleaming city on a hill – where men & women of faith can walk openly & worship freely.— Vice President Pence (@VP) May 11, 2017
Pence reaffirmed the President's commitment to defending Christians and all who suffer for their beliefs across the wider world.
'America was and is and ever will be that shining city on a hill where men and women of faith throughout our history have been able to walk and openly worship their faith in God to the glory of God,' he wrote afterwards.
He said the faith of those gathered at the summit inspired and humbled him.
'The reality is, across the wider world, the Christian faith is under siege. Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ.'
He said that in more than 100 countries spread to every corner of the globe – from Iran to Eritrea, Nigeria to North Korea – more than 215 million Christians confront intimidation, imprisonment, forced conversion, abuse, assault, or worse, for holding to the truths of the Gospel.
'And nowhere is this onslaught against our faith more evident than in the very ancient land where Christianity was born.'
Pence continued: 'President Trump sees these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred – hatred for the Gospel of Christ. And so too does the President know those who perpetrate these crimes. They are the embodiment of evil in our time and he calls them by name – radical Islamic terrorists.'
The suffering of Christians in the Middle East has stirred America to act, he said. 'This President knows the terrorists will not stop until we stop them. And, under President Donald Trump, we will stop them.
'Under President Donald Trump, America will continue to stand for religious freedom of all people, of all faiths, across the world. And I believe that all God's children, no matter their country or their creed, can know with confidence that God will continue to guide this nation, to play our unique role on behalf of freedom in the world.'