As has been widely reported earlier this week, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will be meeting with more than 500 conservative Christian faith leaders next month in New York City.
But now new details are emerging about the closed-door June 21 event, which will reportedly feature Dr. Ben Carson as moderator. According to a press release issued by United in Purpose and My Faith Votes, Carson, who serves as honorary chair of the latter, will lead a "guided discussion" between Trump and the faith leaders.
The goal of the event is to help conservative Christians better understand Trump as a person, his positions on important issues, and his vision for America's future. The groups also hope the event will enable him to "better appreciate matters of importance" to the Christian faith community.
"This moment is perhaps the most critical in the history of our nation, and people of faith can make a crucial difference for our children and grandchildren by exercising their civic duty to cast an informed vote based on a biblical worldview," Carson said. "The goal is that coming out of this meaningful 'conversation,' the faith leaders and Mr. Trump will be more informed about each other and would know one another better, and that he would see their unity in seeking God's direction for the future of America."
The meeting will be closed to media. There will be no fundraising or campaigning and no debates. Carson will reportedly open the event with a brief address on the importance of unity.
"Christian leaders are deeply concerned about the state of our nation after years of government policies and political correctness that have begun to radically and adversely affect the ability of Christians to live out their faith within America's political and cultural landscape," United in Purpose CEO Bill Dallas said. "Our hope is that as we gather together there can be unity of spirit within the church in America, even as each individual makes his or her own decisions as to who will be the future leaders in our government."
"Our priorities for this meeting are to strengthen relationships and build unity, with an objective to simply have a conversation about the prospects of our nation and the continuing influence of Christian believers and their biblical worldview," My Faith Votes Chairman Sealy Yates said. "We wish to talk with specificity to Donald Trump about issues of faith and the role of faith in the civic arena. And, we wish to assure him of our prayers for his family and him. This will be a friendly meeting of people of faith who are genuinely, prayerfully concerned about the future of America."
Having a direct, private conversation with Trump is part of an ongoing process of hearing and being heard by him about issues of faith that affect all people, the organizers said. After the meeting, there not be any joint or collective endorsements, decisions or statements.
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