As the US presidential election continues to hang in the balance, a large group of nuns have insisted that all votes must be counted, accusing President Trump of making “the immoral choice to hold onto power at any cost, including disenfranchising thousands, denying their most sacred gift: their voice".
Their statement comes as President Trump's campaign announced it was filing a number of lawsuits in a bid to halt the counting of votes cast in Tuesday's presidential election. As the ballot counting continues, Democratic challenger Joe Biden is opening up a greater lead in the race to 270 Electoral College votes after edging past Trump in the traditionally Republican state of Georgia overnight.
In their letter, the nuns urged Trump to respect the electoral customs as enshrined in constitutional law. "We took vows as Catholic Sisters, and you took a vow to uphold the Constitution,” they declared. “Stay true to your vow. Count the votes.”
Signatories came from across the country, including the hotly contested states of Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Sister Simone Campbell, who helped organize the letter, told Religion News Service that while it "may be frustrating that we do not know immediately who won our 2020 Presidential election...democracy is worth the hard work and the wait."
"We must insist that our democracy can and does work," she added. "We will give the vote counting the time needed to ensure that we accurately count every vote.”
Meanwhile, as Tuesday's Election Day failed to determine an final result, footage emerged of Trump's senior faith advisor, Pastor Paula White, appearing to declare that the president would be victorious.
“I hear a sound of victory,” White said at a special service event. “The Lord says it is done. The Lord says it is done. For I hear victory, victory, victory, victory in the corridors of heaven, in the corridors of heaven — victory, victory, victory, victory, victory, victory, victory.”
“For angels are being released right now,” the preacher continued. “Angels are being dispatched right now."
In response to her prayer, which has been heavily mocked on social media, Christian rapper took issue with White's remark that "angels have even dispatched from Africa" to help the president win a second term in the White House.
"On a serious note this speaks to the idolatry of nationalism and Western Christianity," he tweeted. "Of course we think we deserve the angels that should be helping the continent of Africa...our problems are more important to God right?"
Some Twitter users disagreed with Lecrae's assertion. "There is nothing wrong with those prayers," one replied. "We all need reinforcement in the spiritual realms."
At the time of writing, Joe Biden has secured 253 of the required 270 Electoral College votes required to be elected president, compared to Trump's 214.
The final result is impossible to predict even at this late stage, with Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona yet to declare. Biden now has a slender lead of roughly 1,000 votes in Georgia - if he holds on to this state, he will become the next President of the United States.