Evangelicals are set to descend on the National Mall Saturday, just weeks before the 2020 elections, with some joining a prayer march led by the Rev. Franklin Graham and others gathered to hear a pastor warn of the Biblical apocalypse he says may await America after this campaign season.
The afternoon march, led by Mr. Graham, son of the evangelist Rev. Billy Graham and president of the disaster aid group Samaritan’s Purse, is being billed as a non-partisan event focused on healing a nation through prayer.
“We’re more divided today than we’ve ever been, and we see where we are morally, spiritually … in trouble,” he told CBN on Thursday.
Officials from Liberty University have said more than 2,000 students would be traveling to D.C. for the prayer march, which will move along the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol.
“It’s strictly a prayer march. It’s not a protest. It’s not a demonstration,” Liberty University Acting President Jerry Prevo told the News & Advance, a newspaper in Lynchburg.
Earlier on Saturday, Jonathan Cahn, a novelist of apocalyptic fiction and a Messianic Jewish pastor, is scheduled to deliver a “prophetic word to America,” according to the website for the event dubbed “The Return.”
“The Return” will be buttressed by speeches from a slate of notable religious conservatives, including former Rep. Michele Bachman, Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins, and Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, and has taken a decidedly political overtone in its messaging.
“If America continues on its present course,” Mr. Cahn says in a video on the event’s website flashing repeated images of President Trump and the U.S. Capitol, “there will come a flood that will begin the end of religious freedom, even ushering in persecution and seal America’s fall.”
The march and “The Return” come at a pivotal moment for shoring up religious voters, key to the president’s re-election campaign.
A poll in July from Public Religion Research Institute found a 7 percentage point drop in white Christian support for Mr. Trump. In 2016, Mr. Trump won more than 80% of white evangelicals, according to exit polls.