Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. revealed on Saturday that he kept advising U.S. President Donald Trump last year to improve his relationships with Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, speaking on the importance of the historical ties.
“I remember telling @realDonaldTrump in a private phone talk in 2017 to keep trying to improve the relationship between US & Russia despite the criticism and not to forget we might’ve lost WWII w/o Russia as an ally,” Falwell wrote on Twitter on Saturday, referring to joint Russian and U.S. efforts against Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
“Glad to see him reaching out to them from a position of strength,” he added.
Falwell’s comment was posted to his personal Twitter page, not a Liberty University page.
Trump and his recent initiatives to ease tensions with Putin have garnered much debate, including his meeting with the Russian president in Finland earlier in July.
Trump has denied that his presidential campaign gained favor due to Russian election meddling in 2016, but has received strong criticism from both Democrats and some Republicans for initially suggesting that Russia did not interfere with the 2016 election.
Some, such as Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that no one should forget how evangelical Christians are treated in Russia.
“Vladimir Putin ruthlessly persecutes those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, holds orphans hostage from waiting families for his political purposes, murders dissidents and journalists, attacks democratic institutions and nations,” Moore wrote on Twitter in response to the summit.
“Morality is not relative,” he added.
Others, such as the Rev. Franklin Graham, hailed Trump as pursuing peace above politics.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association president retweeted Trump’s own words about the meeting, where the latter said:
“Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet, to refuse to engage, but that would not accomplish anything. … I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov