By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) – A senior official in the Southern Baptist Convention who had criticised former U.S. President Donald Trump is leaving his post with the influential evangelical organisation.
Russell Moore said in a statement he will leave the Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission after eight years as its president. He will work for the evangelical magazine Christianity Today as a theologian.
Evangelicals have been strong supporters of right-wing American politics. In the U.S. presidential election in November, 76% of white evangelicals voted for Trump and 24% for Joe Biden, according to Edison Research exit polls.
But during the 2016 presidential campaign, Moore emerged as a vocal critic of Trump, saying the then-candidate’s personal behavior meant he was unworthy of the office.
He criticized evangelicals who unreservedly backed the Republican nominee.
“What a scandal to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the integrity of our witness,” Moore wrote in 2016 after vulgar sexual comments made by Trump about women surfaced online. (https://reut.rs/2T5DVpb)
In January, Moore called on Trump to resign as president after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the formal congressional certification of Biden’s election victory. (https://reut.rs/3bFhldo)
“Mr. President, people are dead”, Moore said in a tweet on Jan. 8. “Could you please step down and let our country heal?”
Moore is expected to leave his post June 1, and the commission’s board said it would soon begin searching for a successor, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Christian Today magazine, where Moore will now work as a public theologian, was founded in 1956 and is a publication focused on the American evangelical movement.
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