Trump Admin Leads 32 Nations in U.N. Rebuke: No International ‘Right’ to Abortion

Dr Susan Berry

The Trump administration led a 32-nation signing ceremony of a declaration that affirms there is no international right to abortion.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar co-hosted the virtual signing of the Geneva Consensus Declaration along with the governments of Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda.

The declaration serves as a rebuke to the pro-abortion rights U.N. and World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

It states the nations join to promote women’s health as well as the “strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society.” The governments also affirm “the essential priority of protecting the right to life.”

The nations that signed onto the declaration, which represent 1.6 billion people, also “reaffirm ‘all are equal before the law,’” and that “human rights of women are an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The governments declare “the inherent ‘dignity and worth of the human person,’ that ‘every human being has the inherent right to life,’ and the commitment ‘to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.’”

The declaration emphasizes that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning,” and that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

The governments also assert that “women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources, and political participation,” as well as equal access to employment and decision-making.

“This is the first time these nations have committed to working together – despite cultural and religious differences – to ensure that human rights are extended to every member of the human family,” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, observed in a statement.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised the commitment of the Trump administration to the right to life:

Abortion is not health care. Sovereign nations have the right to protect their most vulnerable citizens, including the unborn, and to be free from bullying and coercive efforts to expand abortion on demand. From day one, President Trump and his administration have worked to stop the exportation of abortion, making respect for life the official policy of the United States in our international relations. We join our friends around the world in celebrating this landmark declaration, which builds on the Trump administration’s commitment to promote authentic human rights and dignity at every turn.

Additionally, seven member nations of the Organization of American States (OAS) signed a joint statement that affirms “every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person,” and that it is the sovereign right of nations to make their own laws protecting life from the moment of conception.

“President Trump is standing for the defense of life in the Americas like no other president in history,” Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said, and added:

At a time when the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, which ironically are supposed to promote and defend human rights in the region, are actively seeking to undermine the fundamental human rights of the unborn, the United States, acting in unison with eight other OAS member states, is raising its voice to say in no uncertain terms that the Organization of American States and its affiliate bodies must respect the sovereignty of the counties of the Western Hemisphere to enact legislation that protects life from the moment of conception.

In August 2019, Pompeo and Azar sent a joint letter inviting other world leaders to stand with the United States in defending life against the efforts within the U.N. to create an international right to abortion on demand.

In their letter, Pompeo and Azar asked other governments to join with the U.S. “in ensuring that every sovereign state has the ability to determine the best way to protect the unborn and defend the family as the foundational unit of society vital to children thriving and leading healthy lives.”

“[P]lease encourage other countries in your region to join this growing coalition to push back against harmful efforts to interpret long-standing international instruments as requiring anti-family and pro-abortion policies,” Pompeo and Azar wrote to the other world leaders, “and to promote proactively positions that will protect families and strengthen the health of all people.”

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/23/trump-admin-leads-32-nations-in-u-n-rebuke-no-international-right-to-abortion/


Christian Charity CEO: Trump Admin’s Religious Freedom Alliance a Good Start to Battling ‘the Issue of Our Time’

David Curry, CEO of Open Doors (courtesy Open Doors), a Christian charity group.

FRANCES MARTEL 13 Feb 2020

The U.S. State Department’s launch of a global coalition to defend religious freedom is a “good first step” in countering a mounting wave of repression against both the faithful and those who choose not to worship, David Curry, the CEO of the Christian aid group Open Doors, told Breitbart News.

Curry, whose charity focuses on helping oppressed Christians and tracks persecution trends through the annual publication of its World Watch List, added that religious persecution is “the issue of our time” and present in nearly every conflict area in the world.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the establishment of the International Religious Freedom Alliance this month, a coalition of 27 countries around the globe that have committed to a set of principles that include both the respect for the freedom of conscience of their citizens and the advocacy for religious freedom abroad. On the list are nations representing North and South America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, including Senegal, Ukraine, Israel, Albania, and Brazil, among others.

“The formation of the Alliance marks the first time in history an international coalition has come together at a national leadership level to push the issue of religious freedom forward around the world. Egregious perpetrators of religious persecution have long operated with impunity,” Pompeo said in a statement announcing the move. “The Alliance will unify powerful nations and leverage their resources to stop bad actors and advocate for the persecuted, the defenseless, and the vulnerable. The threats to religious freedom are global. They require global participation and global solutions.”

The principles the alliance has signed onto include respecting international law on individual freedom of conscience, specifically, “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief, including the right to hold any faith or belief, or none at all, and the freedom to change faith.”

Given that many of these nations – the United Kingdom, Colombia, and others – are not locations considered significantly dangerous for people of faith or those defying the majority belief system, perhaps more powerful is the commitment in the list of principles to publicly demand respect for religious freedom.

“The Alliance intends to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all, which includes the right of individuals to hold any belief or none, to change religion or belief and to manifest religion or belief, either alone or in community with others, in worship, observance, practice, and teaching,” the text of the Declaration of Principles reads. “The Alliance is intended to bring together senior government representatives to discuss actions their nations can take together to promote respect for freedom of religion or belief and protect members of religious minority groups worldwide.”

“Every country on that list could still make progress on protecting religious freedom, all these founding members, but I think what’s hopeful is that these countries have agreed on a framework to form these core principles and I think that the discussion of it and the raising of the standard is a good first step,” Curry told Breitbart News in an interview Thursday. “I think it highlights the fact that this is a growing concern of many countries around the world. There’s a continued restriction and intolerance towards not just the practice of Christianity but any faith around the world. This is the issue of our time as it relates to a lot of chaos around the world.”

Curry noted that religious intolerance is common in conflicted, impoverished, or authoritarian regions of the world, nearly always accompanying other human rights atrocities.

“I think governments in the past have seen religious liberty as maybe a partisan issue. I would hope that people are beginning to see – with all these crises around the world, ISIS, al-Qaeda, what’s happening in Burkina Faso – they’re beginning to see the role that intolerance has played in other larger social issues,” he explained.

“I’ve always said that religious freedom is the canary in the coal mine,” he continued. “It’s the first thing you’ll notice when something is going amiss in areas about ready to tip over into chaos, whether that’s northern Nigeria or Iraq and Syria or anywhere else. … Where you have an area where there’s mayhem … you will always have religious liberty issues.”

Curry predicted that the alliance’s efforts would, in the long term, convince some governments that have remained neutral or negative on religious freedom to shift their priorities and defending the individual rights of their citizens. World governments, he added, have a responsibility to defend these freedoms and strip their laws of discrimination based on faith or lack thereof.

“Civil society has a role to play, government has a role to play in creating environments where people can practice their faith or choose not to practice a faith without fear of pressure, oppression, being imprisoned, being attacked by other groups,” Curry said. “We need civil government to pass the kinds of laws that allow people to change their mind or change their faith if they so choose as an adult to do that, or to decide that they want to be an atheist – I think these are things that civil government has to do.”

According to the 2020 edition of Open Doors’ World Watch List, 260 million Christians are currently living under “high levels of oppression” – facing war, terrorism, discriminatory laws, and mob violence, among other threats. North Korea, a totalitarian communist state that forces citizens to worship dictator Kim Jong-un and his family, topped the list as the world’s most repressive country for Christians. The list noted increasing levels of violence against Christians in much of Africa – particularly Burkina Faso, which did not appear on the 2019 list – and a decrease in Iraq and Syria as a result of the collapse of the Islamic State.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

Iranian Persecuted Christians: Majority of Iran Supported Soleimani Airstrike

Maryam Rostampour spoke at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC on Wednesday about being jailed for her Christian faith in Iran and the plight of persecuted Christians in that country. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

 

PENNY STARR 6 Feb 2020

Iranians who fled the Islamic Republic after facing persecution and prison sentences for their Christian faith said in remarks to Breitbart News this week that the majority of people in Iran support President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Iranian terror chief Qasem Soleimani.

Soleimani, a major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was the head of Iran’s Quds Force and responsible for its foreign terrorism strategy. U.S. officials have confirmed that he pioneered the use of roadside bombs in Iraq and Syria to kill and dismember American soldiers. Trump ordered an airstrike on Soleimani in January after a pro-Iran mob attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Breitbart News asked two of the women if Trump’s policies toward Iran were helping the people there, and specifically persecuted Christians.

“I think the Trump administration’s policies toward Iran [are] absolutely helping,” Maryam Rostampour told Breitbart News. “If you ask the majority of Iranians they support President Trump and his policies toward Iran.”

“After President Trump came into office you see a lot of standing and supporting the Iranian people,” Rostampour said, adding that remarks from Trump or Secretary State Mike Pompeo supporting Iranians and their fight for freedom “is very encouraging for the Iranian people.”

“I support one hundred percent [Trump’s] policies, especially the killing of General Soleimani,” Rostampour said. “The majority of Iranians believe that he was a terrorist. Not only in the countries of the region but also he was responsible for killing thousands of people in Iran.”

She said many of those inside Iran who were killed were protesters who had no weapons but stood up against the regime nonetheless.

“That’s why we believe the international community, the United States, European countries need to stand with the Iranian people because this is their basic human rights,” Rostrampour said. “They want freedom. They are tired of this regime.”

“And, honestly, it’s so frustrating to see that the media in the West just spreading the Iranian regime’s propaganda instead of standing for what is right,” she said. 

Rostampour said in recent months some 1,500 people have been killed and thousands more thrown into prison for blasphemy and many of those receive death sentences.

“But when we look at the Western media you don’t hear about the suffering of the Iranian people,” she said. “That’s why we appreciate what the Trump administration is doing … standing for the Iranian people and supporting human rights.”

Dabrina Bet Tamraz said she believes Trump’s policies toward Iran have “raised awareness,” especially about the lack of religious freedom in Iran.

Dabrina Bet Tamraz is the daughter of an Iranian pastor who is serving time in prison in Iran because his Christian faith is a threat to national security, the Islamic regime claims. She spoke at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC on Wednesday. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

Dabrina Bet Tamraz is the daughter of an Iranian pastor who is serving time in prison in Iran because his Christian faith is a threat to national security, the Islamic regime claims. She spoke at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

“We have not experienced such publicity and focus on religious freedom, especially within the country of Iran,” Bet Tamraz told Breitbart News.

Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh are Christian converts from a Muslim background. Evangelism is illegal in Iran, but the two women were devoted to spreading the gospel and handed out 20,000 copies of the New Testament.

Marziyeh Amirizadeh who fled Iran spoke at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, on Wednesday about the persecution of Christians in Iran. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

Marziyeh Amirizadeh who fled Iran spoke at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, on Wednesday about the persecution of Christians in Iran. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

In 2009, they were arrested and spent almost nine months in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. They co-wrote a book about their experience, Captive in Iran.

The women said that they believed they survived their incarceration because so many people around the world prayed for them and made their plight known. And many people sent letters expressing their support.

Although hundreds of letters poured into the prison, they never saw any of them. But in the end, they realized even that was part of God’s plan when prison guards — who did see the letters — asked questions like, “What does it mean when people say Jesus is their Shepherd?”

“Then we realized the letters weren’t for us, but for them,” Maryam said.

Dabrina Bet Tamraz is the daughter of Iranian Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, who led a church in Iran until 2009. In 2017, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for “acting against national security by forming home churches, attending seminars abroad, and proselytizing Zionist Christianity,” according to a Family Research Council biography. In 2018, Dabrina’s mother, Shamiram Isavi, was sentenced to five years in prison on similar charges, and her brother, Ramiel Bet Tamraz, was sentenced to four months in prison for “spreading Christian propaganda.” All are still waiting to hear about their appeals.

The women took part on Wednesday in a panel discussion at FRC in Washington, DC, about the Iran regime’s ongoing persecution of Christians.

The women also reported that Iran has the fastest growing Christian underground church in the world.

As Breitbart News reported, Soleimani was not just an Iranian military leader:

Soleimani, a major general and the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, was responsible for Iran’s terrorist operations abroad, particularly against the United States. He was believed to have coordinated a significant number of human rights atrocities in Syria in defense of dictator Bashar al-Assad and was in charge of organizing terrorist activity in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Latin America, among other areas.

He prioritized the use of roadside bombs to injure and kill American soldiers in battlefields like Iraq, where Iran largely controls the government in Baghdad and its proxy forces on the ground.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2020/02/06/exclusive-iranian-persecuted-christians-majority-of-iran-supported-soleimani-airstrike/


Raising awareness for the religious freedom of Christians