Televangelists, megachurches tied to Trump approved for millions in pandemic aid
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Megachurches and other religious organizations with ties to vocal supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump were approved for millions of dollars in forgivable loans from a taxpayer-funded pandemic aid bailout, according to long-awaited government data released this week.
Among those approved for loans through the massive government relief program were a Dallas megachurch whose pastor has been an outspoken ally of the president; a Florida church tied to Trump spiritual adviser and “prosperity gospel” leader Paula White; and a Christian-focused nonprofit where Jay Sekulow, the lawyer who defended the president during his impeachment, is chief counsel.
Evangelical Christians played a key role in Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election and have remained a largely unwavering contingent of his base.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a rally last month at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, whose pastor, Robert Jeffress, has been on Trump’s evangelical advisory board. The church was approved for a $2-5 million loan, the data showed.