President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to create a faith-based initiative to protect religous freedom. He signed the order in the Rose Garden at the White House as part of the National Day of Prayer.
“As president, I will always protect religious liberty,” the president said. “Prayer has always been the center of American life. It’s forged the identity and destiny of this great nation that we all love.”
A statement from the White House explained the aim of the executive order. The initiative will make sure that “the faith-based and community organizations … have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the Federal Government.” The order states the executive branch will “vigorously enforce” protections for religious freedom. It also instructs the Department of the Treasury not to punish those who speak “about moral or political issues from a religious perspective.”
Several faith leaders attended the event, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, pastors Paula White, Jack Graham and Ronnie Floyd. Author Eric Metaxas and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson were also on hand.
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Read the full executive order here.