Donald Trump

Franklin Graham Among Six Faith Leaders Set To Speak At Trump’s Inauguration


As President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony continues to take shape, his inaugural committee announced Wednesday six religious leaders set to speak during the Jan. 20 event.

Among the notable figures invited to offer a prayer at Trump’s inauguration is Franklin Graham, the son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham.

Graham, who serves as president of the Christian humanitarian-aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, is slated to deliver a benediction along with Rabbi Marvin Hier and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson.

The ceremony will begin with readings and an invocation from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, pastor Paula White and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

While Graham stopped short of endorsing Trump during the election, he defended the then-candidate’s remarks on issues including a proposed moratorium on Muslim immigration into the U.S.

Following Trump’s victory, Graham encouraged Americans to pray for the president-elect. He also made an appearance at a Mobile, Ala., rally earlier this month during which he credited God’s intervention for the election results.

“I don’t have any scientific information,” he told the crowd. “I don’t have a stack of emails to read to you. But I have an opinion. I believe it was God. God showed up. He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land who had been praying for this country.”

The inclusion of Graham and Dolan, who serves as the archbishop of New York, received widespread media attention this week.

The four others included round out an eclectic group of faith leaders.

“I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation,” Presidential Inauguration Committee Chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement.

Hier will be the first rabbi to speak at a presidential inauguration in more than 30 years while blacks, Hispanics and women are also represented.

Jackson received some media attention during the general election when a Trump appearance he hosted at Detroit’s Great Faith Ministries was interrupted by protesters.

The bishop later denounced the protest and New Era Detroit, the group behind it.

“Look at their track record,” he said. “They have a bunch of drug users and drug pushers.”

Jackson went on to make it clear “Trump has every right to worship here, like anyone else.”

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