US Embassy Opens In Jerusalem; Early Voting Begins For Runoff Elections

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"Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone", Mr Jeffres tweeted in defence of his previous comments. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it "the right thing to do".

President Donald Trump and Pastor Robert Jeffress, left, participate in the Celebrate Freedom Rally at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 2017.

Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist preacher in Dallas, Texas, has been a staunch Trump supporter since the billionaire businessman's 2016 campaign.

"And because of that courage of our President, we gather here today to consecrate the ground upon which the United States Embassy will stand reminding the dictators of the world that America and Israel are forever united", he added. He even preached at a private service for the President-elect and his family on Inauguration Day in 2017, shortly before Trump took the oath of office.

When Romney was running for president in 2012, Jeffress told Christians they shouldn't vote for him because he is Mormon.

Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean Abraham Cooper drew historical parallels with the nation's founding 70 years ago and Trump's unprecedented policy shift, harkening back to Israel's infancy as a state.

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Christians, many of whom are from the ethnic Chinese minority, make up about 9 percent of Indonesia's 260 million people. The incident is estimated to be the deadliest attack in recent years to hit the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.

Jeffress has also strongly criticized the Roman Catholic Church.

A 2008 recording from Hagee caught him proclaiming that Adolf Hitler was fulfilling God's plan to encourage Jews to return to Israel. "The spokesman [Raj Shah] said the pastor has a longstanding relationship with people on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill and his remarks are one with which the president does not disagree". The message was clear but Hagee said his position was misrepresented and "the ugliest of lies".

In a tweet Sunday night, the former MA governor who is now running for a Senate seat from Utah criticized Jeffress for his remarks about Jews, Mormons and Islam. Millions of them do, but the fact that I and hundreds of millions of evangelical Christians around the world believe what Jesus said about the way to heaven does not make us a bigot.

Jeffress told Fox News" "Fox & Friends, "This is a historic moment because it represents the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something that the Bible and secular history have told us for 3,000 years".

In his ceremonial prayer, Jeffress thanked God "for your providential and powerful protection of this nation from all who would seek to destroy her".

The White House said today that President Trump doesn't share the same negative sentiments about Jews expressed in the past by one of the evangelical pastors chosen to deliver the invocation at today's opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.