Controversial megachurch pastor John Hagee backs Trump for US president

Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for IsraelPhoto: CUFI

Megachurch pastor John Hagee has given an implicit endorsement to Donald Trump in the forthcoming presidential election. The Texas-based church leader is well-known for his frequent interventions in public affairs, especially his unswerving support of the Israeli government and his belief that America should bomb Iran.

Now he's entered the debate on the 2016 general election as many Republicans struggle to decide if they should support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump has proclaimed that he will be a champion of evangelical values, but high-profile voices such as Southern Baptist Russell Moore and the Christian Post have come out strongly against the three-times married casino magnate who says he has never asked for forgiveness.

In Hagee's video message he doesn't mention Trump by name but he makes it clear who he is supporting: "I'm going to vote for the candidate that's going to make the US military great again. I'm going to vote for the party that is going to solve the immigration problem, not the one that has created the immigration problem. I'm going to support the party that brings jobs back from China... I'm not going to vote for the party that has betrayed Israel for the past seven years.

"If you can read a newspaper, you know who I'm talking about. No candidate is perfect, but I want you to go vote and may God give us a leader who has the courage to put America first and stand up for we the people."

Hagee is also known for his apocalyptic prophecies. He asserted in 2013 that four 'blood moons' were predicting earth-shattering events, saying: "I believe that in these next two years, we're going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world." Nothing of the kind has occurred.

This article was amended on 2nd June 2016 to correct the date of the blood moon prophecy and edit an incorrect picture caption.