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The US Must Support a Safe Haven for Persecuted Mideast Christians

Great suffering is occurring in Iraq and Syria. The region is ravaged by terror. Millions have been forced from their homes. Hundreds of thousands have been killed. And Christians and other ethno-religious minorities have suffered genocide at the hands of ISIS.

The decision to completely withdraw US troops from Iraq left a power vacuum that was filled by terror groups bent on destroying Western civilization.

Now, ISIS is targeting Iraqi Christians specifically because they are Christian, because they stand in the way of the terror organization’s goal of establishing a pure Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and beyond.

 

October 23, 2016 2:53 pm

Advocating Bias Under the Cover of Tolerance

JNS.org — I generally enjoy the camaraderie and communal spirit of my Reform synagogue. The Kol Nidre (Yom Kippur’s evening service)…

In March, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously to declare that the Islamic State’s slaughter of Christians in Iraq and Syria amounted to genocide, and, under extreme pressure, Secretary of State John Kerry joined Congress in this declaration.

Yet, while the State Department has brought thousands of Muslim refugees into the country, the plight of Christians had been intentionally overlooked. Out of 10,000 Syrians refugees permitted into the US, only 56 were Christian — though Christians make up 10 percent of Syria’s population.

We must protect our Christian-Arab brothers and sisters suffering from this terrible genocide in Muslim countries. As Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), has said, “It’s time for the church to help create a firewall of protection against the persecution of Arab Christians.”

Solutions are already being proposed for this effort.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced a resolution that provides American support for the establishment of a safe haven province in the Nineveh Plains region of Northern Iraq.

“This genocide has been recognized by the full weight and moral authority of the United States and many international entities, and it provides a gateway for further policy considerations,” Fortenberry said when introducing the resolution. “One next step must be the resecuritization and revitalization of the Nineveh Plain, allowing the repatriation of those who had to flee.”

The Nineveh safe haven would provide protection for religious minorities, allowing them to rebuild their homes and restore their cultures without fear of death, torture or destruction.

Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, which promotes positive Christian engagement in the Middle East, said, “As indigenous people, they have a right to stay. They need protection, especially in places where they were targeted for genocidal elimination. The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government have recognized the need for the Nineveh Plain Province. It’s time for United States to do the same.”

A protected, semi-autonomous region would also help decentralize the Iraqi government, which is crucial to maintaining stability in a post-Islamic State power vacuum.

“If we don’t decentralize, the country will disintegrate,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abad said in April 2015. “To me, there are no limitations to decentralization.”

As Christian refugees look to return to their abandoned homes in Iraq, they need security guarantees. The province proposed in Nineveh would be a solid foothold in the preservation and restoration of Christianity in the Middle East.

As Christians, we support the Fortenberry resolution, H. Con. Res. 152, and hope all Americans will join us in doing so as well.

Mario Bramnick, a pastor and attorney, is president of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC), the largest pro-Israel International Latino Christian organization in America and around the world. HILC is subsidiary of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Original post can be read here: https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/10/23/the-us-must-support-a-safe-haven-for-persecuted-mideast-christians/

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Hillary Clinton’s Abortion Position Worse Than Donald Trump’s Border Wall, Samuel Rodriguez Tells Hispanic Christians

The Reverend Samuel Rodriguez had stated that Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton wants Hispanic Christians to go against their own religious beliefs in supporting her.

In a statement emailed to supporters on Monday morning, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference said that Clinton wants Christians “‘to Sacrifice Our Most Cherished Values.”

“Latinos are pro-life. Latinos, whether they be Evangelical or Catholic, must never sacrifice truth on the altar of political expediency,” stated Rodriguez.

“By asking for our support, Sec. Clinton is asking us to sacrifice our most cherished values. She is asking us to defy our faith. She is asking us to sacrifice the sacred.”

Rodriguez went on to contrast Clinton’s positions on abortion with Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on America’s border with Mexico.

(Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (L), president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in this July 2013 file photo.

“Donald Trump speaks of building a wall but Hillary Clinton has already built one. The Democratic candidate’s abortion stance … serves as a greater wall than any rhetorical, hypothetical or physical wall,” continued Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s statement came in response to the third presidential debate, wherein Clinton espoused strong support for keeping abortions performed in the third trimester legal.

Last week when debate moderator Chris Wallace asked her about her strong support for abortion, Clinton argued thatRoe v. Wade very clearly sets out that there can be regulations on abortion so long as the life and the health of the mother are taken into account.”

“The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make,” said Clinton.

“I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.”

Since the Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Bolton that the health exception can be whatever the abortionist decides, an abortion law with a health exception effectively legalizes abortion for any reason.

Rodriguez’s recent statements on Clinton’s pro-choice stance and the Christian Latino conscience echo remarks he made back in July.

In a column published by Fox News, Rodriguez argued that the Democratic Party was alienating Latinos through their failures to pass immigration reform and maintaining a staunch pro-choice stance on legislative matters.

“By supporting Planned Parenthood, objecting to charter schools and higher standards and advancing the narrative of discrimination against Christians in education via such laws as CA Senate Bill 1146 in my state, the Democratic Party does not speak the language of Christian Latinos,” wrote Rodriguez.

“Since almost all Latinos are people of faith, the fact remains, the Democrats missed their best chance to pass immigration reform.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/hillary-clinton-abortion-donald-trump-border-wall-samuel-rodriguez-hispanic-christians-171069/

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UNESCO is unbelievable! (CIDI)

From the desk of Mat Staver:

On Thursday, UNESCO, the UN cultural agency, passed a resolution which rejects the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. The latest outrage is wholly anti-Semitic, fraught with revisionist history, and excoriates the Israeli government. It should come as no surprise that the “Occupied Palestine” resolution was submitted by six Muslim nations: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

UNESCO wants us to believe:

• That Judaism has no historical or rightful connection to the holy sites of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. It refers to these sites only by their Muslim names. It is in total disregard of biblical history dating back to the Old Testament.
• It condemns Israel and refers to the Jewish State 14 times as “the Occupying power.”
• It calls for safeguards of the Palestinian cultural heritage and the distinctive character of east Jerusalem (a divided Jerusalem).
• It charges Israel with a long list of offenses, including fostering terrorism.

Reaction to the vote has been swift and strong:

• In the wake of UNESCO’s action, Israel has cut or frozen ties with UNESCO
• Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said UNESCO was ignoring “thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem” and aiding “Islamist terror”.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that UNESCO had become a “theater of the absurd” in “another delusional decision”.
• Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he was “outraged” by the resolution. “Would UNESCO vote to deny the Christian connection to the Vatican? Or the Muslim connection to Mecca? The UNESCO vote claims that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall. In fact, it is the UNESCO vote that has no connection to reality.”

The resolution will now be submitted to UNESCO’s executive body, which will vote on whether to adopt it.” The Associated Press reports the “validated resolution” is expected to be heard early next week.

+ + We are calling for the United States government to launch an action of support for Israel!

With UNESCO attempting to erase Jewish history in Jerusalem, Christians in Defense of Israel is petitioning Congress to uphold Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. With your help, we are urging lawmakers to take action on behalf of The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, acknowledge Jerusalem as the undisputed and undivided capital of Israel, and move the U.S. Embassy to the City of David.

We believe that this declaration will send a message to the entire world that Jerusalem and its holy sites belong to Israel!

Stand with us by adding your name to our I Stand With Israel and Jerusalem as its Undivided Capital petition.

CIDI representatives will hand deliver the petitions to lawmakers on Capitol Hill as soon as we have enough signatures to make an impact. We are about half way toward our initial goal of 25,000 signers. Click here to join with us.

Thank you!

God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless America.

Mat Staver, President
Christians in Defense of Israel

P.S. Jerusalem belongs to Israel, as promised by God. Period. Join us in helping to deliver that message.

Original post can be read here: http://libertycounsel.com/unesco-is-unbelievable-cidi/

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US Must Support Safe Haven for Persecuted Christians in Middle East

Great suffering is occurring in Iraq and Syria. The region is ravaged by terror. Millions have been forced from their homes. Christians and other ethno-religious minorities have suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The shutting down of U.S. military operations in Iraq created political instability that left a power vacuum filled by terror groups bent on destroying Western civilization. ISIS has forced millions of Iraqis and Syrians from their homes destabilizing the surrounding nations and exporting the problems of the Middle East to Europe.

In March, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously that the Islamic State’s slaughter of Christians in Iraq and Syria amounted to genocide. And under extreme pressure, Sec. of State John Kerry joined Congress in the genocide declaration.

The U.S. State Department has brought thousands of Muslim refugees into the country, intentionally overlooking the plight of Christians. Out of 10,000 Syrians refugees permitted into the U.S., only 56 were Christian. And yet Christians make up 10 percent of Syria’s population.

ISIS is targeting Iraqi Christians specifically because they are Christian. They stand in the way of its goal to establish a pure Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and beyond.

We must stand to protect our Christian Arab brothers and sisters suffering from this terrible genocide in Muslim countries. Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), has said, “It’s time for the church to help create a firewall of protection against the persecution of Arab Christians.”

Solutions are already being proposed for this effort.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced a resolution that provides American support for the establishment of a safe haven province in the Nineveh Plains region of Northern Iraq. “This genocide has been recognized by the full weight and moral authority of the United States and many international entities, and it provides a gateway for further policy considerations,” Fortenberry said, while introducing the resolution. “One next step must be the resecuritization and revitalization of the Nineveh Plain, allowing the repatriation of those who had to flee.”

The Nineveh safe haven would provide protection for religious minorities, allowing them to rebuild their homes and restore their cultures without fear of death, torture or destruction.
Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, which promotes positive Christian engagement in the Middle East, said, “As indigenous people, they have a right to stay. They need protection, especially in places where they were targeted for genocidal elimination. The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government have recognized the need for the Nineveh Plain Province. It’s time for United States to do the same.”

A protected, semi-autonomous region would help decentralize the Iraqi government, which is crucial to maintaining stability in a post-Islamic State power vacuum.

“If we don’t decentralize, the country will disintegrate,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abad said in April 2015. “To me, there are no limitations to decentralization.”

As Christian refugees look to return to their abandoned homes in Iraq, they need safety assurances. The province proposed in Nineveh would be a solid foothold in the preservation and restoration of Christianity in the Middle East.

“This safe haven is the last chance we have,” said Rabee Mano, an Assyrian Christian refuge from the Iraqi town of Qaraqosh, “or Christianity will be finished in Iraq.”

As Christians, we support the Fortenberry resolution, H.Con.Res. 152, and hope all Americans will join us in doing so as well.

Original post can be read here: http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/67365/20161018/us-must-support-safe-haven-for-persecuted-christians-in-middle-east.htm

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Christian Colleges Reach Out to Recruit Hispanic Students The Fight for Religious Freedom Begins at Home

Christian colleges are working strategically to recruit and retain Hispanic students, and with good reason.

One in five high school graduates is Hispanic. Yet, a report from Learning Heroes, a national parent organization, shows just 42 percent of Hispanic students make it to college graduation.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is sponsoring the 7th annual National Hispanic Education Summit on Oct. 18 at Baylor University, to focus on strategies for increasing the Hispanic college graduation rate.

Presenters include: Shirley Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; Dr. Dennis Hollinger, president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Dr. Ruth Topez-Turley, professor of Sociology at Rice University.

CBN News spoke with Dr. Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University, and founder of the NHCLC’s Faith and Education Coalition.

Campo says Hispanic students face financial obstacles which often get in the way of college graduation. They also often struggle with the need for remedial course work in college which sets them back both academically and financially.

The good news, he noted, is that Hispanics value education. Learning Heroes reports that 90 percent of Hispanic parents want their children to go to college, a higher percentage than any other ethnic group measured.

Original post can be read here: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/october/christian-colleges-reach-out-to-recruit-hispanic-students

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The Fight for Religious Freedom Begins at Home

As the United States prepares to elect its 45th president, issues surrounding the place of religion in American public life are at the heart of some of the most contentious debates in American culture. There are competing visions of what “religious freedom” means and whether there is any place for religion outside of individual private worship. The implications are numerous, from issues of marriage and abortion, to higher education and business.

Based on the candidates’ background, policy statements, and your own analysis, how will they handle issues of domestic religious freedom as the next president of the United States?

 

Not only has the 2016 presidential election polarized America on almost every major issue, it has also served as a source of hysteria. Each party—and those unaffiliated—views the opposing candidate’s win as disaster. If Hillary wins, it’s the end of American Christianity; if Trump wins, all Muslims will be excommunicated.

It is in this moment, then, that I want to invite everyone to pause and just take a deep breath.

If we have given in to fear and anxiety, then we have truly forgotten how the American system works. While the president of the United States wields incredible authority and influence—as one of the most powerful individuals in the world—he or she does not have absolute power.

Our government system was established on the concept of “checks and balances,” meaning each of our governing branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—is subject to the other two. No one entity can curb the freedom of American citizens; neither Congress nor the White House nor the Supreme Court can single-handedly deny or rewrite our constitutional rights. Our system is bigger than one person and, even, than an entire branch.

Next month’s election will be significant—perhaps one of the most important in modern U.S. history—but it will not make or break our nation. And it will certainly not signify the doom of religious freedom in America, but – that is to say – it does not mean religious freedom is secure. It’s just that the focus of our concern tends to begin on a federal level but it actually all ought to begin on a local level.

Over the years, religious communities have gained a growing distrust of powerful politicians, but the truth is that religious freedom is lost in much subtler ways. And the battle for maintaining it is waged much closer to home.

Here’s one recent example:

Following a parent’s complaint, the Freedom From Religion Foundation issued a letter to the superintendent of the Siloam Springs school district in Arkansas requesting a bus driver refrain from playing a Christian radio station on the bus.

“It is our understanding that the bus driver on bus #24 plays programming from a local Christian radio station, KLRC, each day while students are taking the bus to and from school. One of KLRC’s main purposes is to ‘share hope in Christ.’ It plays contemporary Christian music and Christian programming. We were contacted by a district parent who objects to having his child listen to this religious radio station while on the school bus,”reads the letter.

“The Siloam Springs School District must ensure that religious broadcasts are not being played to students utilizing district transportation.”

The letter then cited several legal case examples as “evidence” to support the plea against the bus driver. The superintendent acquiesced andadvised the school bus driver, who was not even playing the music to promote a religion, to not tune to the radio station anymore.

I’m presenting this example because I want to point out that this order did not come from the Supreme Court, or a congressman or senator, or even the Oval Office. It came from the school superintendent of a city of barely 16,000 people in northwest Arkansas. The complaint might have originated with a single parent and might have been inflated by an anti-religion group, but the decision was made by one local school official.

While the men and women who sit in the highest court of our land make monumental decisions for our entire nation, the men and women who sit in our school boards and city councils make decisions that have a direct and immediate impact on our communities. And while religious freedom visits the halls of Congress and the chamber of the Supreme Court a few times a year, HR departments, lower courts, and the offices of our local lawmakers debate its application on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why voting is so important. We can’t run our eyes too quickly over our local races in order to select our preferred congressional or presidential candidate. City Council members matter. In fact, the erosion of our freedom almost always begins there.

And this isn’t just about the freedom to practice faith—whether it’s Christianity or Islam or Judaism or even atheism—for it is a religion, too—religious freedom should not be at peril in America. It is our first and most foundational liberty.

It was religious freedom that galvanized our forefathers to seek independence and claim the inalienable rights endowed on us by our Creator; it was religious freedom that moved Abraham Lincoln to end the scourge of slavery and proclaim emancipation to the millions trapped in America; and it was religious freedom that inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to reach for that dream of equality and brotherhood.

As I argued when invited to speak at the National Conference on Religious Freedom two years ago: To silence faith is to silence the moral conscience of our nation. And these days the silencing starts in the quiet niches of our society, like a school bus in rural Arkansas.

While Trump and Hillary may distort our country’s understanding of religious freedom for their own political gains, it is up to us to protect its definition in our homes, for it is there where intolerance or kindness is learned. We must also think about not only who will be representing us in Washington, D.C. but also who will be representing us in our towns and states.

In the end, it is up to us, as individuals to hold each other in check, and to be the first bulwark for the defense of each other’s freedom of religion.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him to be among the 100 most influential leaders in America. He is the author of BE LIGHT.

Original post can be read here: http://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/10/19/the-fight-for-religious-freedom-begins-at-home

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US must support safe haven for persecuted Christians in the Middle East

Great suffering is occurring in Iraq and Syria. The region is ravaged by terror. Millions have been forced from their homes. Christians and other ethno-religious minorities have suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The shutting down of U.S. military operations in Iraq created political instability that left a power vacuum filled by terror groups bent on destroying Western civilization. ISIS has forced millions of Iraqis and Syrians from their homes destabilizing the surrounding nations and exporting the problems of the Middle East to Europe.

In March, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously that the Islamic State’s slaughter of Christians in Iraq and Syria amounted to genocide. And under extreme pressure, Sec. of State John Kerry joined Congress in the genocide declaration.

The U.S. State Department has brought thousands of Muslim refugees into the country, intentionally overlooking the plight of Christians. Out of 10,000 Syrians refugees permitted into the U.S., only 56 were Christian. And yet Christians make up 10 percent of Syria’s population.

ISIS is targeting Iraqi Christians specifically because they are Christian. They stand in the way of its goal to establish a pure Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and beyond.

We must stand to protect our Christian Arab brothers and sisters suffering from this terrible genocide in Muslim countries. Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), has said, “It’s time for the church to help create a firewall of protection against the persecution of Arab Christians.”

Solutions are already being proposed for this effort.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced a resolution that provides American support for the establishment of a safe haven province in the Nineveh Plains region of Northern Iraq. “This genocide has been recognized by the full weight and moral authority of the United States and many international entities, and it provides a gateway for further policy considerations,” Fortenberry said, while introducing the resolution. “One next step must be the resecuritization and revitalization of the Nineveh Plain, allowing the repatriation of those who had to flee.”

The Nineveh safe haven would provide protection for religious minorities, allowing them to rebuild their homes and restore their cultures without fear of death, torture or destruction.
Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, which promotes positive Christian engagement in the Middle East, said, “As indigenous people, they have a right to stay. They need protection, especially in places where they were targeted for genocidal elimination. The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government have recognized the need for the Nineveh Plain Province. It’s time for United States to do the same.”

A protected, semi-autonomous region would help decentralize the Iraqi government, which is crucial to maintaining stability in a post-Islamic State power vacuum.

“If we don’t decentralize, the country will disintegrate,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abad said in April 2015. “To me, there are no limitations to decentralization.”

As Christian refugees look to return to their abandoned homes in Iraq, they need safety assurances. The province proposed in Nineveh would be a solid foothold in the preservation and restoration of Christianity in the Middle East.

“This safe haven is the last chance we have,” said Rabee Mano, an Assyrian Christian refuge from the Iraqi town of Qaraqosh, “or Christianity will be finished in Iraq.”

As Christians, we support the Fortenberry resolution, H.Con.Res. 152, and hope all Americans will join us in doing so as well.

Mario Bramnick, a pastor and attorney, is president of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC), the largest pro-Israel International Latino Christian organization in America and around the world. HILC is subsidiary of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Original post can be read here: http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2016/10/17/us-must-support-safe-haven-for-persecuted-christians-in-the-middle-east

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Donald Trump Reveals Evangelical Rifts That Could Shape Politics for Years

When Jen Hatmaker speaks to stadiums full of Christian women, she regales them with stories about her five children and her garden back in Austin, Tex. — and stays away from politics. But recently she took to Facebook and Instagram toblast Donald J. Trump as a “national disgrace,” and remind her legions of followers that there are other names on the ballot in November.

“Trump has consistently normalized violence, sexual deviance, bigotry and hate speech,” she said in an email interview. “I wouldn’t accept this from my seventh-grade son, much less from a potential leader of the free world.”

In the nearly four decades since Jerry Falwell Sr. founded a group called the Moral Majority, evangelical Christians have been the Republican Party’s most unified and reliable voting bloc in November presidential elections. The leaders of what came to be known as the religious right were kingmakers and household names, like Pat Robertson, James C. Dobson, Ralph Reed.

But this year, Ms. Hatmaker’s outraged post was one small sign of the splintering of the evangelical bloc and a possible portent of the changes ahead. While most of the religious right’s aging old guard has chosen to stand by Mr. Trump, its judgment and authority are being challenged by an increasingly assertive crop of younger leaders, minorities and women such as Ms. Hatmaker.

“Those men have never spoken for me or, frankly, anyone I know,” said Ms. Hatmaker, the author of popular inspirational Christian books. “The fracture within our own Christian family may be irreparable.”

The fault lines among evangelicals that the election of 2016 has exposed — among generations, ethnic groups and sexes — are likely to reshape national politics for years to come, conservative Christian leaders and analysts said last week in interviews. Arguments that were once private are now public, and agendas are no longer clear.

 
The audience at Ms. Hatmaker’s event in Tampa. Credit Loren Elliott for The New York Times

“The idea of a monolithic evangelical voting constituency is no longer applicable in the American electorate,” said Samuel Rodriguez Jr., the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who represents about 40,000 congregations and declined to join his friends and allies on Mr. Trump’s evangelical advisory board.

The big names who sit atop organizations that function largely as lobbying groups and mobilization squads for the Republican Party have stuck with Mr. Trump despite the lewd comments he made in a 2005 recording, even though he was never their preferred candidate. He wooed them and convinced them that he would appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia, the conservative who died in February. To these pragmatic players, the election boiled down to only two issues, both that could be solved with Supreme Court appointments: stopping abortion and ensuring legal protections for religious conservatives who object to same-sex marriage.

But the evangelicals now challenging the old guard tend to have a broader agenda. They see it as a Christian imperative to care for immigrants and refugees, the poor, the environment and victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse. Many support criminal justice reform and the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement. While ardently opposed to abortion, some are inclined to be more accepting of same-sex marriage.

“The next generation of evangelicals craves a less partisan, less divisive and more racially inclusive expression of political engagement that addresses concern on a range of issues, not just abortion and gay marriage,” said Jonathan Merritt, a young evangelical who writes on politics and culture.

The religious right’s machinery is still primed to turn out evangelical voters for Mr. Trump, said Johnnie Moore, a publicist for many Christian leaders and groups, who serves on Mr. Trump’s advisory board. But he doubts that the machinery will produce as it has in the past.

“I do not think there’s any way to get evangelical women in any force to show up for Donald Trump at this point,” Mr. Moore said.

 
Wyatt Drake, a Liberty University student, registering to vote. Students at the evangelical university in Lynchburg, Va., have a started a petition criticizing the university’s president for backing Donald J. Trump. Credit Chet Strange for The New York Times

Several polls show that Mr. Trump is underperforming among evangelicals compared with previous Republican nominees, who commanded about 80 percent of the white evangelical vote. Mr. Trump received 65 percent to 70 percent of white evangelical support, recent polls show. A new poll from LifeWay Research, which specializes in surveys of churches and Christians, found that nonwhite evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Mr. Trump, 62 percent to 15 percent.

Significant opposition to Mr. Trump has also come from evangelical leaders who are white and baby boomers or older. Many younger evangelicals said they took note when Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention and Erick Erickson, a conservative writer and radio host, rejected Mr. Trump early in the campaign. Last week, both Christianity Today and World magazine ran editorials rejecting Mr. Trump.

Kate Shellnutt, 30, the online editor of Christianity Today and editor of the CT Women section, said she had observed that “the millennial generation has a lot less patience for Trump.” Of the 33 influential millennial evangelicals she profiled for a cover story two years ago, she says she can now find only one, Lila Rose, who is pro-Trump, and even she has been publicly critical of him. Several have been using the hashtag #NeverTrump, Ms. Shellnutt said.

Students at Liberty University in Virginia, which was founded by Mr. Falwell, started a petition on Wednesday criticizing the university’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr. (the founder’s son), for endorsing a candidate who is “actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose,” and tarnishing the school in the process, the petition said.

“Liberty University is not Trump University,” said Dustin Wahl, a junior majoring in politics and policy, who wrote the petition. “We don’t stand with our president on Donald Trump. It’s embarrassing because most people here realize that Trump is a joke.”

Mr. Wahl said that more than 2,500 people had signed the petition in two days, including more than 1,100 who used email addresses affiliated with Liberty University. There are about 15,000 resident students at Liberty, and an additional 90,000 online.

 
Dustin Wahl, a student at Liberty University, has criticized the university’s president for his support of Donald J. Trump. “We don’t stand with our president on Donald Trump,” he said. “It’s embarrassing because most people here realize that Trump is a joke.” Credit Chet Strange for The New York Times

Mr. Falwell, Mr. Reed and Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, who have all stood by Mr. Trump, did not respond to interview requests. However, Mr. Falwell issued a response to the students’ petition, saying that it represented the views of only a “few students,” and that he had endorsed Mr. Trump as an individual, not on behalf of the university.

The student body president, Jack Heaphy, as well as some students interviewed on campus, defended Mr. Falwell and Mr. Trump.

“I believe the vast majority of students on campus will be voting for Mr. Trump on Nov. 8 — not because he’s the perfect candidate, but because his policies align most with the viewpoints of students,” Mr. Heaphy said.

While evangelicals on both sides are alarmed at the vitriol and division, not everyone agrees that it signifies a long-term split. Some maintain that the dissenters will return to the Republican Party post-Trump, and those who supported him will be forgiven.

“I don’t think it is permanent,” said Mr. Moore, the publicist who sits on Mr. Trump’s advisory board.

But the petition is one sign that the traditional reverence among evangelicals for authority figures has fallen by the wayside. On social media, there are calls for Mr. Perkins to step down for continuing to back Mr. Trump.

“It’s inconceivable that someone could run an organization named the Family Research Council and support a man like Donald Trump for president,” said Matthew Lee Anderson, 34, the author of several books and the blog Mere Orthodoxy.

Four years ago, he spoke on a young leaders’ panel at the Values Voter Summit, which is sponsored by Mr. Perkins’s organization. Now, he said, “I don’t have any trust in his judgment any longer. And that’s the sort of loss of trust that lots of younger evangelicals are experiencing toward people like Tony Perkins, and it will not be rebuilt quickly.”

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Paula White, Michele Bachmann, Samuel Rodriguez Join Letter Denouncing Clinton Campaign’s ‘Christophobic’ Behavior

Florida Pastor Paula White, former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez are among the signatories of an open letter demanding that Hillary Clinton apologize for the “Christophobic” rhetoric found in emails among campaign staffers.

 

(Photo: NDCC)Paula White, senior pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Florida, speaks on October 7, 2012.

Earlier this month Wikileaks posted a large number of Clinton campaign emails, which among other things showed staff members of the campaign talking disparagingly about Catholics and evangelicals.

An advanced copy of the letter was sent to The Christian Post earlier this week and on Thursday a copy was sent that included a list of signatories.

“As Christian leaders, Catholic and Evangelical, we collectively express our outrage at the demeaning and troubling rhetoric used by those within Clinton campaign — and those associated with the campaign — to describe our communities,” stated the letter.

(Photo: The Christian Post/Leonardo Blair)John Podesta (L) chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign listens as Rev. Omarosa Manigault (R) addresses the National Action Network convention in New York City on Wednesday April 13, 2016.

“It is especially alarming that the Chairman of the Clinton Campaign, John Podesta, was copied on these emails between Jennifer Palmieri, now director of communications for the Clinton campaign, and a fellow at Podesta’s Center for American Progress. Podesta’s refusal to raise any objection makes him equally party to this bigotry. It is inexcusable. It is shameful. It is un-American.”

In addition to White, Bachmann and Rodriguez, other notable names attached to the letter demanding an apology included Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson, Texas megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress, Southern Evangelical Seminary President Richard Land, Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver, and former Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd.

“Historically, Evangelicals and Catholics have had significant theological differences, dating back to the Protestant Reformation. In spite of those differences there has been a mutual respect for one another and an ability to work together on important issues of mutual concern,” continued the letter.

“The WikiLeaks emails reveal a contempt for all conservative Christians, and we are — Catholic and Evangelical — united in our outrage and united in our call for Mrs. Clinton to immediately apologize for the Christophobic behavior of her associates.”

This is not the first time that Clinton has had the allegation of “Christophobia” directed towards her. Last month, Christian author and humanitarian Johnnie Moore labeled Clinton and President Barack Obama “Christophobic” for various reasons, including their response to growing persecution of Christians abroad.

“They have repeatedly — and willfully — embraced Christophobic policies around the world that have enabled the further persecution, suffering or marginalization of Christian minorities when they could have made different decisions,” said Moore in an interview with The Christian Post in September.

“They’ve repeatedly tried to downplay, diminish, and dilute the significant and escalating persecution of Christians around the world. They’ve also sometimes characterized those who speak up for Christian rights as Islamophobic when often times those advocating for Christians are also deeply immersed in refugee-related humanitarian work on behalf of the Islamic community as well.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/paula-white-michele-bachmann-samuel-rodriguez-letter-denouncing-clinton-campaigns-christophobic-behavior-170810/

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