Nearly 180 evangelical leaders across America closed ranks further around President Trump on Sunday, Dec. 22, after a Christian magazine called for the removal of the president from office.

In a letter to the president of Christianity Today magazine, the group of 177 evangelical leaders criticized Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli for penning an anti-Trump editorial, published Thursday, that they portrayed as a dig at their characters.

“The editorial you published, without any meaningful and immediate regard for dissenting points of view, not only supported the entirely partisan, legally dubious, and politically motivated impeachment,” the letter read, “but went even further, calling for Donald Trump not to be elected again in 2020 when he certainly survives impeachment.”

“Your editorial offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens of millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations,” the Evangelicals wrote to the magazine’s president, Timothy Dalrymple.

The letter to the magazine’s president sent on Sunday also included a warning that Christianity Today could lose readership or advertising revenue as a result of the editorial, which cites Trump’s impeachment last week.

Citing Galli’s past characterization of himself as an “elite” Evangelical, the letter’s authors told Dalrymple, “It’s up to your publication to decide whether or not your magazine intends to be a voice of Evangelicals like those represented by the signatories below, and it is up to us and those Evangelicals like us to decide if we should subscribe to, advertise in, and read your publication online and in print, but historically, we have been your readers.”

Among the signatories of the letter are George Wood, chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship; Rev. Tim Hill of the Church of God; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; and former Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Another signatory, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, serves on Christianity Today’s board of directors and has been an evangelical adviser to the president.

Rev. Rick Amato, one of the signatories, from Dream Believe Institute in Wellington, Florida, asserted that it inaccurately led the public to believe that all Evangelicals held the same beliefs critical of Trump and that it breached the religion’s teachings of forgiveness.

“Unfortunately, it’s the magazine’s own name that left the impression that it speaks for all of Christianity, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he told Newsweek. “Whether the president did something wrong or not, even if he did and it’s immoral, it required forgiveness and it requires a hand reaching out if you’re a Christian.”

Earlier, evangelical Pastor Franklin Graham also blasted Christianity Today, saying his father believed Trump ‘was the man for this hour in history’ and voted for him.

“Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece. In fact, he would be very disappointed,” Graham said.

“My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump,” Graham wrote on Facebook early Friday, Dec. 20. “He believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”

Plenty of other Christians and conservatives also expressed their sentiments regarding Galli’s piece. 

Asked about the editorial’s indictment of Trump by “Fox News Sunday,” Marc Short—chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, himself a prominent evangelical Christian – cited some of the policy positions.

“(F)or a lot of us who are celebrating the birth of our Savior this week, the way that we look at it is that this president has helped to save thousands of similar unplanned pregnancies,” Short said Sunday, adding that “no president has been a greater ally to Israel than this president.”

Roughly 8 in 10 white evangelical Protestants say they approve of the way Trump is handling his job, according to a December poll from The AP-NORC Center.

The Trump campaign is planning a Jan. 3 event in Miami called “Evangelicals for Trump.”

Includes reporting from the Associated Press.

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