Evangelical leaders applauded President Donald Trump for honoring his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by presenting him with the “Friends of Zion Award.”
On Monday, the The Friends of Zion Museum presented President Trump with its Friends of Zion Award, an honor given to those who have defended Israel without compromise.
“This award was commissioned by the 9th president of the state of Israel, Shimon Peres, to recognize a global leader with courage to stand with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people,” explained Dr. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum, CBN reports.
“We believe no American president in history has done more to defend the Jewish people in the United Nations,” Evans said of Trump.
A number of evangelical faith leaders attended the event and praised the president for “keeping his promises.” Attendees included Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, James Dobson of Family Talk Radio, televangelist Paula White, Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, African-American pastor Harry Jackson and former Southern Baptist Convention president Jack Graham
“We were so thankful for the open door that our president has granted us to have very open dialogue,” said Paula White, a member of the president’s faith advisory council and senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida. “I simply have to say, ‘promise made, promise kept.’ We were grateful for his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital.”
“This president is an anomaly. He is an anomaly because he keeps his promises. Evangelicals, conservatives across this country are grateful for the fact that he has actually done exactly what he campaigned on,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, according to a Facebook live video posted by CBN.
“He campaigned on protection of religious freedom. He campaigned on making our military strong and reversing the radical social policies of the previous administration. He has focused on making our economy strong again. In short, he is working to make America great again. Despite what some might say, the rank-and-file evangelicals across this country applaud the president, believe in the president, and continue to stand with the president in seeing his agenda accomplished.”
Later, Johnnie Moore tweeted out a photo of a letter that was signed by evangelical leaders praising Trump for the Jerusalem decision.
“We left this letter of support with @POTUS for his Jerusalem decision during our meeting today in the Oval Office,” he captioned the photo.
“We stand together united today in firm support of the President’s commitment to peace in the Middle East and in celebration of his historic decision to designate Jerusalem the capital of Israel,” the letter reads. “This distinguished ‘Friends of Zion’ award is a symbol of our appreciation to President Donald J. Trump as we remain unrelenting in our prayers for the peace of Jerusalem.”
CNN notes that the promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem was a staple of Trump’s campaign speeches: “When I become President, the days of treating Israel like a second class citizen will end, on Day 1,” he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference last year.
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”
On the day President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a number of evangelical leaders praised the decision, including Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel.
“Let’s unite together on this historic day to pray for our president, our nation and the nation of Israel like never before,” he wrote on Facebook. “Let’s pray that the United States will remain resolute in its commitment and support of Israel.”
Hagee, who is also the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, also delivered a video message in that Facebook post.
“President Trump has made a bold and courageous stand that will be remembered in history forever, like President Harry Truman, who made a bold and courageous decision to recognize Israel at statehood,” Hagee said.
“What he has done today will be eternally celebrated,” he continued in the video. “This shows the world that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not up for negotiation, and America is and shall always remain a loyal ally of Israel.”