President Donald Trump hosted a dinner with Evangelical leaders at the White House on Monday, recognizing their impact on American life.
“Every day, we’re standing for religious believers, because we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life,” he said. “And we know that freedom is a gift from our Creator.”
Faith leaders Dr. James Dobson, Paula White, Alveda King, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Darrell Scott, Robert Jeffress, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and Lester Warner attended the dinner, as well as dozens of additional Evangelical leaders.
President Trump also paid special tribute to Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, who were celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary on Monday.
The president noted that he put an end to government attacks on religious freedom, voting the need to allow people of faith to act according to their conscience.
“The attacks on communities of faith are over,” Trump said. “We’ve ended it. We’ve ended it. Unlike some before us, we are protecting your religious liberty.”
Trump also pointed to his efforts to force Turkey to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from captivity and his decision to open the United State embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.
Pastor Paula White said the blessing at the meal, presenting the president and the first lady with a bible signed by over 100 Christians.
The inscription on the Bible read:
First Lady and President, you are in our prayers always. Thank you for your courageous and bold stand for religious liberty, and for your tireless service to all Americans. We appreciate the price that you have paid to walk in the high calling. History will record the greatness that you have brought for generations.
Senior Pastor of First Baptist Dallas Robert Jeffress praised Trump’s “unprecedented accomplishments” in an interview with Breitbart News.
“President Trump is the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty, pro-conservative judiciary president in history,” he said. “In spite of all the ‘noise’ from the mainstream media, evangelicals continue to enthusiastically support President Trump and his conservative agenda.”
Kelly Shackelford, the CEO of First Liberty Institute, also attended the event.
“With all the division in our country today, it was good to gather with some of the country’s leading religious leaders at the White House to thank President Trump for his work defending religious liberty and nominating conservative judges,” she told Breitbart News. “For the President and First Lady to host people of faith at what felt like a state dinner is quite an honor.”