Blessed by church leaders, a crusade against the 2020 election

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By Charles Homans, The New York Times

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 11 a.m. service at Church for All Nations, a large nondenominational evangelical church in Colorado’s second-largest city, began as such services usually do. Young families and couples sang along to the live music, and they were joined by older couples. Mark Cowart, the church’s senior pastor, delivered an update on a church mission project.

Cowart gave the pulpit to William Federer as a guest speaker.

An evangelical commentator and one-time Republican congressional candidate, Federer led the congregation through an hourlong PowerPoint presentation based on his 2020 book, “Socialism — The Real History from Plato to the Present: How the Deep State Capitalizes on Crises to Consolidate Control.” Many congregants scribbled in the notebooks they had brought from home.

“I believe God is pushing the world to a decision-making moment,” Federer said, building toward his conclusion. “We used to have national politicians that held back the floodgates of hell. The umbrella’s been ripped after Jan. 6, and now it’s raining down upon every one of us. We had politicians that were supposed to certify that — and instead they just accepted it. And, lo and behold, an anti-Christian spirit’s been released across the country and the world.”

Evangelical churches are a powerful vehicle for grassroots activism. Now, some of those churches have embraced a new cause: promoting Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

These pastors have spoken out about election meddling and fraudulent votes in the 17 months that have passed since the election. They have opened their church doors to speakers promoting discredited theories about overturning President Joe Biden’s victory and lent a veneer of spiritual authority to activists who often wrap themselves in the language of Christian righteousness.

For these church leaders, Trump’s narrative of the 2020 election has become a prominent strain in an apocalyptic vision of the left running amok.

“What’s going on in our country right now with this recent election and the fraudulent nature of that?” Cowart, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment, asked in a sermon last year. “What is going on?”

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