Trump's Anti-Semitic Faith Adviser To Speak At US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem

Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress to give prayer at US Embassy opening in Jerusalem

Hagee, whose group is dedicated to organizing pro-Israel Christians in the United States into a unified voice, has had relationships with Israeli prime ministers dating back years.

A Dallas evangelical pastor who once said that Jewish people are going to hell and a megachurch televangelist who claimed that Hitler was part of God's plan to return Jews to Israel both played prominent roles on Monday in the opening ceremony of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Jeffress serves on Trump's evangelical advisory panel and preached at the family's private service on Inauguration Day.

GJELTEN: Though he was surrounded by Jewish religious leaders, Jeffress closed his prayer invoking his Christian faith.

"And because of that courage of our President, we gather here today to consecrate the ground upon which the United States Embassy will stand reminding the dictators of the world that America and Israel are forever united", he added.

GJELTEN: Jeffress is a fervent political supporter of Israel, though from a narrow Christian perspective.

"Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism - not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell", Jeffress said.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is himself a Mormon, is leading the chorus of criticism against "religious bigot" Robert Jeffress, who will speak in front of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on Monday.

Jeffress says, Romney tweeted, "you can't be saved by being a Jew, ′ and 'Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.' He's said the same about Islam".

Jeffress responded in a tweet of his own by defending his view that "salvation is through faith in Christ alone". "The fact that I, along with millions of evangelical Christians around the world, espouse that belief is neither bigoted or newsworthy". We sought to reflect that in this event, the official said.

"I'm going to be thanking God for the strong leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is absolutely determined to protect Israel", Jeffress said.

DAVID SANDMEL: This is a moment where we should be trying to send out a message of hope, of peace and of inclusion. Jeffress also spoke before a Trump rally in September 2016, after which Trump said, "I love that guy!" He's long-known for his support of Israel.

Of course, nearly no one made any noise about the prominent of Hagee and Jeffress at the embassy ceremony. It would have suited me to have as broad of an ecumenical list of speakers and participants as they could get.

Big-name pastors also came to Jeffress' defense, including Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California.

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