‘He was sent to us’: at church rally, evangelicals worship God and Trump

Friday’s rally recognized Trump’s need to retain the loyalty of the evangelical voting bloc that propelled him to victory in 2016

Richard Luscombe in Miami
@richlusc
Sat 4 Jan 2020

 

Donald Trump participates in a prayer before speaking at an Evangelicals for Trump Coalition Launch at the King Jesus International Ministry in Miami, 3 January 2020. Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters

They came to pray with their president, though in truth many came just to worship him. Donald Trump’s Friday launch of his so-called “coalition of evangelicals”, an attempt to shore up the support of the religious right ahead of November’s election, had the feel of any other campaign rally, except this time with gospel music.

An estimated 7,000 “supporters of faith” packed the King Jesus international ministry megachurch in Miami to hear the word of the president, and decided that it was good. The Maga hat-wearing faithful cheered Trump’s comments on issues calculated to resonate with his churchgoing audience, including abortion, freedoms of speech and religion, and what he claimed was a “crusade” from Democrats against religious tolerance.

“My administration will never stop fighting for Americans of faith,” Trump said at the conclusion of an often freewheeling 75-minute speech. “We will restore the faith as the true foundation of American life.”

Trump also gloated about Thursday’s military strike that took out the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad. “It was flawless strike that eliminated the terrorist ringleader,” he said, insisting the killing would save the lives of “hundreds and hundreds of Americans.

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