A prominent evangelical leader encouraged Christians to become more involved in politics and push back against a culture that has “taken God out of of our government” during a prayer rally at the Statehouse Tuesday morning.
Franklin Graham stopped in Columbia as part of his Decision America Tour, where he will visit 50 states challenging Christians to pray for the country and stand for their faith.
Graham’s message at the rally called Christians to take the country’s government back by electing public officials who hold “Biblical” values and get involved in office themselves if candidates running are not fit for the position. Graham has previously indicated that he does plan to endorse any presidential candidate.
“I think the problem with our nation today is the failure of the Church,” Graham said in a release announcing the event. “I don’t have hope in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. The only hope that I have is in the Church.”
South Carolina resident Aaron Thomas said after attending the rally he understands why Graham is advocating for more Christian leaders to take office.
“The leaders are corrupt and they’re hurting people,” he said. “We’re losing money and struggling while they’re living lavish lifestyles. We need more people who will live like God wants us to live and the result is we will have a better life living under leaders who aren’t tyrants.”
Another rally attendant Barbra Pool said she believes the government has tried to remove Christian values from structures that desperately need it.
“I think our nation has turned its back against God and we have taken God out of everything. I believe as Christians we need to pray that we turn back to God, because that will be the answer to a lot of the problems we face today, said Pool,” Whether its crime or racial issues, we should love one another and work together. We must stand upon the word of God to do that.”
Organizers of the rally estimated more than 7,000 people gathered at the Statehouse. Graham’s tour will end in May and he hopes that everyone who hears his message will sign a pledge. The pledge urges Christians to live out their faith at home, in public, and at the ballot box.
Kimberly Washington filed this report