Controversial pro-Trump pastor offers blessing at Jerusalem embassy opening

Controversial pro-Trump pastor offers blessing at Jerusalem embassy opening

The selection did not sit well with previous Republican presidential nominee and current U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney, who called Jeffress a "religious bigot" who "should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy of Jerusalem".

"This is a historic moment because it represents the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something that the Bible and secular history have told us for 3,000 years", Jeffress said on Fox & Friends. The moving of the embassy itself is a controversial move that has been hailed by a number of evangelicals, but has led to mass protests and violence.

Jeffress, who is a member of Trump's Evangelical Advisor Board, has previously praised the president's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, CNN reported.

Pastor John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, will deliver the benediction at the ceremony, according to CNN.

During the campaign, audio from one of Hagee's sermons in the 1990s was leaked that seemed to suggest that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by aiding the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.

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In the sermon, Hagee quoted from the Book of Jeremiah that "they the hunters should hunt them [the Jews] ... from every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks".

"Robert Jeffress says 'you can't be saved by being a Jew, ' and "Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell, '" Romney wrote".

McCain said in a statement at the time: 'Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. Hagee withdrew his endorsement, saying the critics were "grossly misrepresenting my position on issues most near and dear to my heart if it serves their political ambitions". He then shouted from the hilltops that Muslims and Hindus "worship a false god" before claiming that all of Islam "promote pedophilia". Jeffress said he would "be thanking God for the strong leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is absolutely determined to protect Israel". Trump in December a year ago recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announced an embassy move from Tel Aviv, prompting protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim-majority countries. "This is another example of a promise made, promise kept".

In an interview with the Christian Post at the end of 2016, Jeffress declared that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were "on the wrong side of God on this issue" when the US chose not to veto a United Nations resolution on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

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