Best-selling author Stephen E. Strang has interviewed countless evangelical and charismatic leaders over his 40-plus-year career and knows the issues close to their heart when it comes to how they vote at the ballot box. One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected in 2016—to the shock of many—was that he was committed to these matters, including protecting life, upholding religious freedom and populating the courts with judges who have Judeo-Christian values at their core.
Strang is following up his best-seller, God and Donald Trump, with his new book, Trump Aftershock, and writes about issues such as Christian persecution and the Trump administration's actions against it.
The most visible headline in this arena is that of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016 on false accusations of spying and aiding terror groups. Brunson has been on house arrest since late July but is still not free to return to the U.S., venture outside his home or preach in his Turkish church.
The hope is that Brunson could be released at his next hearing on Oct. 12, and the Trump administration is working hard toward that end, imposing sanctions on Turkey and doubling down on tariffs. As a result, the Turkey lira, and in turn the Turkish economy, has suffered. In fact, the lira rallied last week on reports that Brunson's release was possible at this hearing, Financial Times reported.
This commitment to fighting Christian persecution and protecting religious liberty, however, is not new for Trump. Early in his presidency, Trump buoyed the spirits of evangelicals when he made a strong appeal during the National Day of Prayer for a return to God and a restoration of religious freedom.
"That event convinced many evangelicals who were looking for assurance of Trump's commitment that this president would give his support to the issues that were most important to them," Strang writes in Trump Aftershock. "They believed his words were more than just rhetoric. In his proclamation for the event, he said: 'We believe that in America, people of all faiths, creeds and religions must be free to exercise their natural right to worship according to their consciences. We are also reminded and reaffirm that all human beings have the right, not only to pray and worship according to their consciences, but to practice their faith in their homes, schools, charities and businesses in private and in the public square free from government coercion, discrimination or persecution.' The president made it clear even before he entered the presidential sweepstakes that he would use the power and influence of the United States to defend the interests of men and women in the faith community. Since that time, he has taken an interest in the plight of Christians suffering from persecution around the world."
Religion, Trump had said, is more than an intellectual exercise. It is a practical expression of beliefs and Christians' commitment to care for those in need and to stand up for those who are suffering for their faith today in many parts of the world. "Even the many prisoners around the world who are persecuted for their faith can pray privately in their cells," Trump had remarked. "But our Constitution demands more: the freedom to practice one's faith publicly."
In Trump Aftershock, Strang explores the "president's seismic impact on culture and faith in America" and will uncover unreported facts while objectively helping readers understand what the nation's most unlikely and unconventional president has accomplished, including a featured section on these advancements called "500 Days of American Greatness."
Stephen E. Strang is the best‐selling author of God and Donald Trump, which was brandished by the president during his appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2018. The CEO and founder of Charisma Media, Strang was voted by Time magazine as one of the most influential evangelicals in America. He has traveled to more than 50 countries, has interviewed four U.S. presidents and has been featured on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBN, Dr. James Dobson's "Family Talk" and The Daily Caller.
Trump Aftershock is published by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 14 New York Times best-sellers.
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