John Hagee Ministries cancels two London conferences following UK terror attacks
Two London conferences led by the pro-Israel, evangelical megachurch pastor John Hagee and due later this month have been cancelled following the recent terrorist attacks in the UK.
Hagee, 77, is the controversial senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and also founded Christians United for Israel. He is well-known for his frequent interventions in public affairs, especially his unwavering support of the Israeli government and, more recently, his support for Donald Trump.
Now, the John Hagee Ministeries website announced that its 'Night to Honour Israel' on 22 June and the John Hagee Ministries London Conference on 23-24 June in Westminster, London, have both been 'postponed'.
'The safety of our supporters is paramount at all our events and we always ensure that security is taken very seriously. Following recent attacks in central London and Manchester, a number of foiled attacks in recent weeks and the on-going terror threat, we had already increased planned security to a much higher level than usual,' the website said.
'However, having assessed the current situation and received independent advice we have taken the difficult decision to postpone these events. Islamic extremists have called for the specific targeting of Christians and Jews during the month of Ramadan, during which our events were set to take place. Although no specific threat has been received, we have been advised that our events could be targets.
'It is with wisdom and not fear that the leadership takes this responsibility for the protection of those that would attend, bearing in mind the Night to Honour Israel would be the largest pro-Israel event of the year with both Christians and Jews meeting at a location just a short distance from the two recent London attacks.
More than a thousand people had already booked for these events, and we were expecting hundreds more to register in the next few weeks, making them two of our largest events. We are sure this will disappoint those planning to attend, as it has disappointed us, but after much prayer and consideration we feel this is the right decision.'
The cancellations came after it emerged that Vice President Mike Pence will address Christians United for Israel (CUFI) – the largest pro-Israel group in the US – at its annual conference in July.
Chaired and founded by Hagee, CUFI has more than 3.5million members and is expecting thousands to gather for its annual summit in Washington.
In 2008, John McCain was forced to reject Hagee's endorsement of him as Republican presidential candidate after a recording emerged of Hagee saying Hitler was fulfilling God's will be quickening the Jews' return to Israel.
The Texas-based pastor has also described the Catholic Church as the 'Antichrist', a 'false cult system', and 'The Great Whore'.
Pence is due to speak at the CUFI annual conference which runs from July 17-18 in Washington.
The John Hagee Ministries website added: 'Our commitment to spreading the Gospel is as strong as ever and we will continue to boldly proclaim Biblical truth in this nation. Only the love of Christ can conquer the darkness that drives these terrorist acts.
'The root of the threat currently facing this nation is the same that Israel has faced for years. And our standing with Israel against radical Islam is crucial at this time, as is standing with our country as it comes to terms with its impact.
'The relevance of our work is crucial during the days in which we are living. Although we are not meeting in June, let us continue to show the love of Christ to Britain and stand with Israel and our Jewish brethren.
'Let us stand for truth and righteousness at a time when our nation is in need of both clarity and hope.'