President Obama’s new “Strong Cities Network,” announced with little fanfare last week at the United Nations, appears to be another effort to strip authority from local police departments and to demonize conservative Christians, say advocates of civil and religious liberties. The stated goal of the program is to connect local police departments with their peers around the world in an effort to combat “violent extremism,” according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who announced the program to the U.N. on Sept. 30.

Lynch, with New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio by her side, told world leaders that the time has come for a more globalized and comprehensive effort to combat violent extremism. She said: “Until now, we have lacked that mechanism. We haven’t had the benefit of sustained or coordinated cooperation among the growing number of cities and municipalities that are confronting this ongoing challenge. Communities have too often been left isolated and alone. But through the Strong Cities Network that we have unveiled today, we are making the first systematic effort in history to bring together cities around the world to share experiences, to pool resources and to forge partnerships in order to build local cohesion and resilience on a global scale. Today we tell every city, every town and every community that has lost the flower of its youth to a sea of hatred – you are not alone. We stand together and we stand with you.” CONTINUE