WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump celebrated the National Day of Prayer by announcing a White House initiative that he said would underpin policies recognizing the “vital role” of religion in the country. “America is a nation of believers,” he said.
The President focused on the power of prayer as a centerpiece of American life.
“Faith has shaped our families and it’s shaped our communities,” he said. “It’s inspired our commitment to charity and our defense of liberty, and faith has forged the identity and the destiny of this great nation that we all love.”
Trump outlined steps by the administration to safeguard religious freedom and pledged to continue doing so.
He signed an executive order creating a “White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative” that will, among other things, make recommendations on policies that affect faith-based and community programs. Trump said the new office will help ensure such groups have “equal access” to government money and the “equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.”
“We take this step because we know, that in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges, faith is more powerful than government and nothing is more powerful than God,” Trump said.
Members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where more than two dozen worshippers were killed in a November 2017 shooting, attended the event.