Pastor Robert Jeffress has attributed US gun violence to children not being taught the Ten Commandments in school.
The head of megachurch First Baptist Dallas, who is also a member of President Trump’s evangelical advisory board, criticised a “crusade by secularists to remove any acknowledgment” of God in the country’s schools.
Speaking during an interview on Fox News, he said people have put forth the idea “that we can be good without God”.
“Well, that’s been a dismal failure,” he added.
“I’d remind our viewers that for the first 150 years of our nation’s history, our school children prayed, they read scripture in school, they even memorised the Ten Commandments, including the commandment ‘Thou shall not kill.'”
His comments followed hundreds of thousands of people who protested in cities across the country on Saturday to oppose gun violence and call for change.
The marches came just over a month after a gunman opened fire at a high school in Florida, killing 17 people.
Jeffress said the time had come for the country to return to teaching children about God.
“Teaching people, starting with our children, that there is a God to whom they’re accountable is not the only thing we need to do to end gun violence, but it’s the first thing we need to do,” he said.
Several Parkland students spoke during the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C and warned lawmakers they would be voted out of office if they didn’t take action.