Romney criticizes Jeffress as wrong man to give Jerusalem embassy prayer

JERUSALEM ISRAEL- MAY 8 2018 A road sign indicating the direction of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Sergey Orlov  TASS

JERUSALEM ISRAEL- MAY 8 2018 A road sign indicating the direction of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Sergey Orlov TASS

President Donald Trump selected Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress to speak at the opening of the new US embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, apparently disregarding - or perhaps because of - his intensely bigoted beliefs about Mormons, Jews, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community.

Pastor Robert Jeffress "says he believes all Jews are going to hell", Smith noted, and has uttered similar condemnations of Islam. Islam, he said, "is a religion that promotes pedophelia, sex with children".

Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress has described gay people as taking part in "the most detestable acts you can imagine", and also slammed Mormonism as "a cult" in 2012, suggesting people should not vote for then Republican candidate Mitt Romney-a practicing Mormon-Haaretz reported.

Jeffress made his critical remarks about Jews, Muslims and Mormons at the Values Voter Summit in 2011 adding that his conservative church should not try to evolve by being tolerant to other confessions.

Jeffress, a leading evangelical supporter of Donald Trump, said without the president's "determination, resolve, courage, we would not be here today".

Israel launched celebrations on Sunday for the US Embassy's relocation to Jerusalem, a move whose break with world consensus was underscored by the absence of most envoys to the country from a reception hosted by Netanyahu.

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Romney jumped onto social media to bash a Christian pastor, a Trump fan, who was selected by the president and his administration to deliver a prayer at the ceremony today in Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers shot and killed dozens Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border on Monday.

During that campaign, audio from one of Hagee's sermons in the 1990s was leaked that appeared to suggest that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by aiding the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.

"Those comments Mitt used were out of context, they were twisted, some were not accurate at all", Jeffress said, insisting that the fact that he and millions of other evangelicals believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is "really not newsworthy and it certainly doesn't qualify me as a bigot".

The White Home invited Jeffress to take part within the opening of the embassy after it was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an invite that was met with widespread criticism.

In his ceremonial prayer, Jeffress thanked God "for your providential and powerful protection of this nation from all who would seek to destroy her". This is another example of promise made, promise kept'.

He told host Todd Starnes: "In that prayer, I'm going to be recounting God's history of faithfulness to His people, the Israelites".

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