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America a nation of believers: Trump

Press Trust of India, Washington, Feb 9 2018, 8:50 IST
Trump attends the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Reuters Photo

Trump attends the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Reuters Photo

America is a nation of believers, President Donald Trump today said at the annual National Prayer Breakfast.

In his second appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Trump steered clear of partisan politics and focused on his belief in the country's dependence on God.

"America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer, Trump said, addressing a gathering of national and international religious leaders and people of eminence.

Addressing the 66th annual event, Trump said each year, this event reminds that faith is central to American life and liberty.

"Our founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence. Our currency declares, 'In God We Trust'. And we place our hands on our hearts as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance and proclaim we are 'One Nation Under God'," he said amidst applause from the audience.

The National Prayer Breakfast is a massive ecumenical gathering put on annually by a group of Christians who want to focus on a shared admiration of Jesus.

Every president since Dwight D Eisenhower has attended the event, which draws several thousand people from around the world, especially evangelicals, who have proved strong supporters of the Trump administration.

"Our rights are not given to us by man; our rights come from our Creator. No matter what, no Earthly force can take those rights away. That is why the words 'Praise be to God' are etched atop the Washington Monument, and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people," he said.

"So today, we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American," he said.

"We see the Lord's grace in the servicemembers who risk their lives for our freedom. We see it in the teachers who work tirelessly for their students, and the police who sacrifice for our communities -- and sacrifice they do, he said.

"And we see the Lord's grace in the moms and dads who work two and three jobs to give their children the chance for a better and much more prosperous and happier life."

He praised first responders and citizens who rushed to help victims of hurricanes, wildfires and mass shootings, as examples of the goodness of the human soul.

"When catastrophic hurricanes struck, first responders and everyday citizens dove into rushing waters to save stranded families from danger. And they saved them by the thousands. Neighbors opened their homes to those in need of food, clothes, shelter. Firefighters braved blinding smoke and flames to rescue children from devastating wildfires," said the US president.

Trump said when Americans are able to live by their convictions, to speak openly of their faith, and to teach their children what is right, families thrive, communities flourish, and the nation can achieve anything at all.

"Together, as Americans, we are a tireless force for justice and for peace. We have witnessed this truth over the past year. For years, ISIS had brutally tortured and murdered Christians, Jews, religious minorities, and countless Muslims," he said.

Today, the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 per cent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and all throughout Syria, he said.

"Much work will always remain, but we will never rest until that job is completely done. And we are really doing it like never before," he said.

He said that millions of people in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes.

"America stands with all people suffering oppression and religious persecution," Trump said in his address.

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