Trump implores evangelical Christians to vote in November

Former US president Donald Trump urged evangelical Christians Saturday to vote en masse for him in November, vowing to "aggressively" protect their religious freedom if he is elected.

The ex-leader, who rarely appears in church himself, has built a crucial base among the religious right, promising -- and delivering -- on some of their biggest priorities, including by appointing Supreme Court justices who helped overturn the federal right to abortion.

"The evangelicals and the Christians, they don't vote as much as they should," Trump told hundreds of supporters at a Washington conference put on by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative advocacy group.

"They go to church every Sunday, but they don't vote," he said, adding in a half-joke that "in four years, you don't have to vote. Okay? In four years, don't vote. I don't care."

If elected, Trump would be ineligible to run for president again in 2028 because of term limits.

Evangelical voters were crucial for Trump's 2016 victory and again in his failed 2020 campaign, when 84 percent of white evangelical Protestants voted for him, according to the Pew Research Center.

Trump promised to protect their interests Saturday, as he vowed to "aggressively defend religious freedom."

The former president claimed that he had "stood up to the communists, Marxists and fascists to defend religious liberty like no other president has ever done."

(AFP)


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