Christian pastors have reacted to Donald Trump's rally violence, saying Christians should fight against free speech violations because these could one day block their right to preach about Jesus Christ.
From Feb. 29 to Mar. 14, police say 52 people have been charged in violent incidents during Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's campaign rallies, and 32 of those arrests happened during his St. Louis rally on Mar. 11. Also, more than 20 scuffles have occurred at the billionaire's events in the same period, according to The Huffington Post.
Most of the individuals arrested have been charged of non-violent disorderly conduct or disrupting peace. However, the exact number of violent incidents and arrests associated with Trump rallies is still undetermined because of inconsistent reports.
Some Christian leaders have released comments on the Trump rally violence, particularly the Chicago event last week which the real estate mogul canceled due to the organized protests.
In an interview with The Christian Post, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference president Rev. Samuel Rodriguez spoke out against protesters successfully silencing free expression.
"The idea that a mass of people can shut down free speech and subsequently silence free expression, runs counter to our God given constitutional rights," said Rodriguez. "While Mr. Trump's rhetorical demagoguery requires a civil yet poignant response, a chaotic and anarchist type strategy as exhibited in Chicago can one day threaten my right to preach the culturally unpopular Gospel of Jesus Christ."
While Rodriguez said Christians must not be involved in physical violence, they should still obey the biblical command of speaking the truth in love. He said believers should always exert effort to lead people to Jesus Christ while fighting against those who seek to infringe on their freedom of speech and religion.
Exodus Faith Ministries founder Bishop E.W. Jackson urged Christians to condemn the Trump rally violence, but he said people should not place the blame on Trump himself. He said "leftist agitators" who do not honor the First Amendment are the ones responsible for such violent incidents, and encouraged leaders to discourage people from getting involved in violence.