Last week, it was announced that a megachurch in Miami would be holding an event for Donald Trump that featured over 70 Evangelical leaders. The church, called King Jesus International Ministries, is led by pastor Guillermo Maldonado. King Jesus International Ministries is known for some unusual forms of worship which includes Maldonado speaking in tongues.
The President was eager to hold a large scale Evangelical event after a scathing editorial was recently published in Christianity Today. This event is a double win for Trump as he gets his faith based event and that it will be held in a swing state. An Atheist group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation has asked the IRS to investigate to church for abusing their tax-exempt status.
Many of the church’s parishioners are undocumented immigrants. There was some worry that they would be detained upon trying to attend the event.
Maldonado urged, “I don’t think the president would do such a thing. Don’t put your race or your nationality over being a Christian. Be mature. If you want to come, do it for your pastor. That’s a way of supporting me.”
Still, some think the event is clearly politically motivated. The request from the FFRF states, “[the pastor] In urging congregants to come to a political rally, and in hosting the political rally, [appears to have] inappropriately used [his] religious organization and 501(c)(3) status by intervening in a political campaign.”
Letter writer Rebecca Markert continues, “It violated IRS regulations by seemingly expressing its support for a candidate in the November 2020 presidential election.”