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Christian leaders set to pray at Trump's inauguration

The ceremony will take place in front of thousands of people - and broadcast to millions across the world - at 11.30am (4.30pm GMT) outside the Capital Building in Washington DC.

Six clergy members will offer prayers and Bible readings at the ceremony.

Among the clerics taking part, is Bishop Wayne T Jackson, who preaches a prosperity gospel at Great Faith Ministries International.

Bishop Jackson told Detroit News that he plans to pray to heal the wounds of a divided nation.

He said that the country needs to give Trump a chance.

"This is a democracy, and the people have selected him and Vice President Pence, so we just need to get on board and quit the division, because we go nowhere fighting against each other.

"A house divided, Jesus said, cannot stand. ... And that is what my prayer is going to be about - about being united," he said.

Bishop Jackson will be joined by Pastor Paula White - a televangelist at the New Destiny Christian Center in Florida.

She will make history by becoming the first female clergy member to pray at an inauguration ceremony.

Pastor White - who has been friends with Trump for 15 years - has been dubbed by US media as his spiritual adviser.

She told the New York Times that he has a "heart for God and a hunger for God."


Cardinal Timothy Dolan - the Catholic Bishop of New York - will read a passage from Wisdom chapter 9 at the ceremony.

In the passage, which is included in the Apocrypha, King Solomon prays for wisdom to lead Israel according to God's will.

Cardinal Dolan will be the first Catholic bishop to take part in an inauguration since Jimmy Carter was made president in 1977.

Earlier this month, Cardinal Dolan said he was flattered to be included in the ceremony.

He told Catholic New Service: "We pastors and religious leaders are in the sacred enterprise of prayer. People ask us to pray with them and for them. That doesn't mean we're for them or against them," he added, "That's our sacred responsibility."


Evangelical pastor and CEO of Samaritan's Purse Rev Franklin Graham will also read a passage of scripture.

He follows in the footsteps of his father, Billy, who spoke at four inaugarations.

"It's a great privilege to be able to stand with the president and to be able to stand before the nation and focus on God for a few minutes," Rev Graham told Fox.

Also taking part will be Rev Samuel Rodrigruez; the first Hispanic evangelical leader to pray at a swearing-in ceremony.

As the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rodriguez accepted the invitation despite some reservations about Trump's hard-line views on immigration.

Rev Rodriguez - who was born in Puerto Rico - told NPR: ""There was a bit of angst due to the fact that throughout the course of this campaign, the rhetoric and tone, as it pertained particularly to the immigrant community, did not line up with the ethos or the values of the NHCLC."

The group of spiritual leaders will also include Rabbi Marvin Hier. He said he was "proud" to have been asked to pray at the service. He is the first Jewish leader to take part in an inauguration since 1985.

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