Amid Debate and Violence, Trump Delivers Embassy Victory to Christian Base

While the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem has triggered violence and political debate this week, it also stands as a sharp reminder of the close ties between the Trump administration and evangelical Christians — and of the victories that Mr. Trump has delivered for his evangelical base.

Against a backdrop of violence on the Gaza border, with Israeli soldiers killing dozens of Palestinians, a who’s who of Mr. Trump’s evangelical backers were present in Jerusalem to celebrate the formal relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv on Monday. The split-screen images of fury and jubilee were striking, with many of the American guests trying to keep the focus on the achievement of their long-held goal.

Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, said she has been praying for 20 years that this day would come. As she walked out of the opening ceremony, she saw hugs and smiles all around.

“There’s a sense of unity,” she said on her way to a party at the David Citadel Hotel that was hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Christians United for Israel, and the Jewish Policy Center.

For the religious right, opening an American Embassy in Jerusalem is as significant as when Mr. Trump nominated Neil M. Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice. Evangelicals viewed the conservative-leaning judge as likely to advance their anti-abortion cause.

But Mr. Trump has taken other steps that have gratified his evangelical supporters. He personally supported the March for Life, an anti-abortion group; increased the ability of churches to organize politically; and moved against transgender protections throughout the government.

Mr. Trump’s policy promises helped convince reluctant evangelicals to vote for him in 2016 when they were turned off by his language and sexual morality. Social conservatives largely gave Mr. Trump their support, in spite of their moral qualms, because he has championed their policies, especially on abortion and support for Israel.

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Reported by: New York Times

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