The pastor of the Miami church that will host Friday’s “Evangelicals for Trump” kickoff event is encouraging “people who don’t have papers” to attend the event, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
“You don’t have to be a citizen. And I will give you an affirmation as your spiritual father and your pastor. First, someone said, ‘But how can you bring Trump to church if there’s people who don’t have papers?’ ” Guillermo Maldonado said in a sermon delivered in Spanish on Sunday at the El Rey Church in Miami he pastors, the Herald reported.
“I ask you: Do you think I would do something where I would endanger my people? I’m not that dumb,” Maldonado added.
The Herald continued:
But despite his promise, Maldonado also made an appeal to some of his parishioners who feel apprehensive about attending Trump’s visit to their church because of his increased immigration raids.
“I don’t think the president would do such a thing,” Maldonado said. “Don’t put your race or your nationality over being a Christian. Be mature … If you want to come, do it for your pastor. That’s a way of supporting me.”
Bianca Padro Ocasio, the Herald reporter who wrote the story, confirmed to Breitbart News that she was in attendance at the Sunday sermon and that it was delivered in Spanish. An audio or video recording of the sermon has apparently not yet been posted online.
The Herald story described Maldonado’s sermon as a definite guarantee that illegal aliens attending the Trump campaign event would not be deported, stating, “The Miami pastor whose megachurch is hosting President Donald Trump next week told undocumented parishioners at a Sunday service that he guaranteed they would not risk deportation if they decided to attend the president’s event on Friday.”
Numerous other mainstream media outlets, none of whom were apparently in attendance at Sunday’s sermon, ran with the story, using the Herald story lede as the main angle.
Breitbart News contacted Pastor Maldonado to comment on whether the Herald story accurately described what he said about “undocumented” members of his congregation who chose to attend Friday’s Evangelicals for Trump event.
The press office of El Rey Jesus Church responded, saying Maldonado was not available for press interviews.
They did, however, provide this statement:
As believers, the Bible calls us to pray for all of our governmental leaders. For this reason, our ministry opens its doors to those who wish to share in our faith and pray for our governmental leaders and office seekers.
“1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1- 4 NKJV
King Jesus International Ministry is a non-partisan, non-political church. Our ministry does not endorse any political candidates or engage in political campaigns. It is a religious organization that ministers to the community. While we advocate for issues we care deeply about, such as family and respect for life, we do not take positions in political campaigns. The January 3 Evangelicals for Trump event is being paid for and organized by President Trump’s election campaign. We agreed to lease space in exchange for fair compensation. No church resources are being used and our agreement to provide rental space is not an endorsement of President Trump’s campaign or any political party.
Apostle Guillermo Maldonado, in a personal capacity, has been selected to be a part of the Evangelicals for Trump Coalition. The Coalition is a group of pastors who pray for and advise the President on spiritual matters and important issues from a Christian perspective.
Our ministry will continue to join with other Christians to pray for all our leaders and office seekers, regardless of their affiliations.
As Breitbart News reported, the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday, asking for an investigation of the tax status of El Rey Jesus Church.