Christian leaders across the country posted messages Wednesday afternoon, condemning the scenes unfolding in the U.S. Capitol, where seemingly pro-Trump protesters and rioters began wreaking havoc.
The melee began roughly one hour into what should have been the beginning stages of the process to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over outgoing President Donald Trump.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) was speaking when a staffer approached the lawmaker to tell him “protesters are in the building.” At that point, the debate was called into recess and has yet to resume. Agitators have breached the chamber of the U.S. Capitol, where they’ve broken windows, stolen government property, discharged a fire extinguisher, and more.
“This mob attack on our Capitol and our Constitution is immoral, unjust, dangerous, and inexcusable,” tweeted Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “What has happened to our country is tragic, and could have been avoided.”
He went on to urge President Donald Trump to condemn the violence in Washington, D.C., where Mayor Muriel Bowser has implemented a 6 p.m. curfew. Moore said Trump has “a moral responsibility to call on these mobs to stop this dangerous and anti-constitutional anarchy.”
California megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie said he is “alarmed” by what he is seeing from the nation’s Capitol, differentiating peaceful protests from insurrections.
“Vibrant protest is American,” Laurie, founder of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California, posted to Twitter. “Violence [and] anarchy is not. I condemn it. Will you join me — Democrat [and] Republican — in praying for America? Pray for peace on our streets, for protection [and] wisdom for our leaders.”
Dan Darling, a Christian author and pastor from Nashville, called those who breached the Capitol “insurrectionists” who should be prosecuted to “the fullest extent of the law.”
“Ironically — and I hope and pray this is true — but perhaps these horrific images from the Capitol will be a mirror for our country,” he wrote, “a prompt to reflect and repent and mourn and perhaps might be a catalyst to bring us together.”
He then listed several ways Christians can pray.
Christian talk radio host Dr. Michael Brown condemned the “spirit of lawlessness and anarchy” showing itself in Washington, D.C.
“Whether it’s BLM-Antifa rioters who set our cities on fire or pro-Trump protesters who just breached the Capitol,” he tweeted, “both are dead wrong.”
Pastor and “Purpose Driven Life” author Rick Warren also condemned the violence in D.C. today. In a tweet, he called the riots in the Capitol “un-American, criminal treason, and domestic terrorism.”
In a video statement posted to Twitter, Trump told rioters in the U.S. Capitol to “go home now.”
Biden, for his part, demanded an end to the violence, stating the scenes unfolding in D.C. this afternoon “do not reflect a true America” and “do not represent who we are.”
“What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness,” he said. “This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition and it must end now.”
The president-elect went on to say the U.S. democracy “is under unprecedented assault.” He demanded Trump “step up” and condemn the violence.
Myriad Republican lawmakers have spoken out against the violence.