Vice President Pence warned the 2019 graduating class at Liberty University in his commencement address that they would face persecution for their faith.
“Throughout most of American history, it's been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” Pence told students Saturday, according to USA Today. “It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.”
“But things are different now,” he continued, adding that “some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs. Be ready.”
Drawing from his own personal experience during the address, Pence discussed the criticism his wife, Karen, received last year after she returned to work as an art teacher at a private elementary school that prohibited LGBT students and teachers.
“When my wife, Karen, returned to teach art at an elementary Christian school earlier this year, we faced harsh attacks by the media and the secular left,” he also said during the address, according to The Christian Post.
“These attacks on Christian education are un-American,” Pence continued.
The vice president also boasted about the actions being taken by the Trump administration in recent months to “protect religious liberty.”
“I promise you, we will always stand up for the right of Americans to live, to learn, and to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience,” he said.
Pence also took a moment to tout the recent boost to the economy in the first quarter of the year, telling students they “picked a great time to graduate, because after two years of the leadership of President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE, jobs are coming back and America is back,” the Post reports.
According to USA Today, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., a staunch supporter of Trump, said Pence was one of “the most engaged and influential vice presidents in my lifetime” on Saturday.
Pence is scheduled to speak to the 2019 graduating class of Taylor University next weekend in Indiana.