Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
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US Embassy Opens In Jerusalem; Early Voting Begins For Runoff Elections

US Embassy Opens In Jerusalem; Early Voting Begins For Runoff Elections

President Donald Trump selected Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress to speak at the opening of the new USA embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, apparently disregarding - or perhaps because of - his intensely bigoted beliefs about Mormons, Jews, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community. At least 43 people died in today's protests, the most since the showdown began in March.

He is said to have made more than 2,000 media appearances - regularly on the right-leaning Fox News cable channel - and has written 23 books.

On Monday morning, Mitt Romney took to Twitter to denounce Jeffress by invoking remarks he made about Jews and Mormonism, calling him a "religious bigot".

He has warned that non-Christians are going to hell.

Jeffress has also strongly criticized the Roman Catholic Church. "Although they may have embraced different lies, they have rejected the same truth". He then shouted from the hilltops that Muslims and Hindus "worship a false god" before claiming that all of Islam "promote pedophilia". "And that is that faith alone in Jesus Christ is the exclusive way to Heaven", Jeffress told Fox News.

Jeffress responded to the critique from Romney and defended his comments in his own tweet. Some support Jerusalem as Israel's capital because they interpret that as being consistent with New Testament prophecies related to the second coming of the Messiah, when Jews, along with other non-Christians, convert or be destroyed. "The fact that I, along with millions of evangelical Christians around the world, espouse that belief is neither bigoted or newsworthy". The decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem has been fraught with controversy. Palestinians and Israelis both claim Jerusalem as their capital, and USA presidents have historically declined to weigh in on the dispute over the city.

Jeffress is slated to give the opening prayer at Monday's ceremony.

He ended the invocation "in the name and the spirit of the Prince of Peace, Jesus our Lord".

Jeffress, one of Trump's strongest evangelical supporters, also said that when evaluating candidates Christians should consider, "Is the candidate a Christian?"

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