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US Vice President Pence to visit Israel in December

US Vice President Pence to visit Israel in December”

The vice president said the United Nations has failed to help religious minorities, leaving them to "suffer and struggle needlessly".

In his remarks, Vice-President Pence specifically acknowledged key Church leaders in attendance at the Solidarity Dinner, including His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Eastern United States. "The United States will work hand-in-hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith".

He also said US policy has greatly contributed to the challenges Christians face in the Middle East.

Pence complained that Christians and other persecuted people in the Middle East have not been getting the relief they need, and accused the United Nations of having "too often failed to help the most vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities". And from this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through [the United States Aid Agency],' he said in his keynote address.

"Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly", he said.

He said Christianity is "under unprecedented assault in those ancient lands where it first grew", making specific references to Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.

The Trump administration announced in April that it would be cutting off US funding to the United Nations agency for reproductive health, accusing the agency of supporting population control programs in China that include coercive abortion.

In June, the U.N. General Assembly voted to cut $600 million from the organization's almost $8 billion annual peacekeeping budget amid pressure from the United States.

Pence said that driving that persecution is "radical Islamic terrorists".

The move will play to Donald Trump's evangelical base and Pence highlighted how previous President Barack Obama had spent more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid to the Middle East, but only sent the funding to various United Nations programs. Pence will be visiting Israel during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and will be discussing the outlook for peace accords in meetings with Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

"We're grateful to Vice President Pence for coming to North Dakota to see firsthand the essential role that the highly skilled men and women at Minot Air Force Base play in our national security", Burgum said, in a news release issued Wednesday.

"There have been waves of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities over the centuries, but there's no question about the instability that has been created by failed regime-change policies that have not produced what was promised", Eibner said.



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