Life & Society

Evangelical Leaders Urge Unity Amid ‘Deep Divisions’ Of US Election

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The statement calls on the US to accept Trump's presidency as the outcome of a fair democratic process.Reuters

As America comes to terms with the shock victory of Donald Trump, top evangelical leaders have signed a declaration of unity amid the "deeply divisive nature of this election cycle".

The more than 60 signatories include Jim Wallis, the president and founder of Sojourners who has spoken strongly against Trump, Harold Smith, president and CEO of Christianity Today, Rev Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Dr Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The declaration says: "Having a common commitment to our Christian Faith, as well as a shared love for our country, we, the undersigned recognizing the deeply divisive nature of this election cycle, seek the beginning of the healing of our nation.

"Above our Democratic, Republican, and Independent political affiliations, we are believers in Christ's call to be honorable citizens and peacemakers, who seek the prosperity of our nation. We affirm that the Constitution, which guarantees our religious freedoms, allows us to have differing beliefs and opinions, and is the document that maintains the unity and civility of our nation."

The statement calls on the US to accept Trump's presidency as the outcome of a fair democratic process.

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It continues: "We further call on the Congress of the United States, as a body of elected officials, to do their job, which is to represent the interests of the people of the United States. We collectively believe it is time to put partisan politics aside and end the toxic gridlock. It is time for men and women of goodwill to work together towards finding solutions to the many challenges that confront the American people.

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"We commit ourselves to pray God's granting of wisdom to the incoming President, the Congress, and the Courts, as well as to hold both elected branches of government accountable to the promises they made, to lead and work on behalf of all of the citizens of this great nation."

Christian leaders in the US have been bitterly divided over Trump's rise to power.

The president-elect made courting the evangelical vote a centerpiece of his campaign, and won the support of key leaders including president of Liberty Univerity Jerry Falwell Jr, Eric Metxas and Robert Jeffress.

Others, however, opposed his candidacy. Wallis told Christian Today last month that Trump was "antithetical to every Christian value" and said his campaign had been run by "stoking and fuelling racial, gender and religious bigotry".

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