Pastor Jeffress: Trump Is Ending Gov't 'Assault' on Religious Liberty

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday meant to allow churches and other religious organizations to become more active politically, though the actual implications of the document appeared limited.

Trump spoke to religious leaders in the Rose Garden, where he also announced he'll visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican - including a meeting with Pope Francis - on his first foreign trip.

Currently, under the Johnson Amendment, churches are not allowed to endorse or oppose a political candidate. Trump said he was making it easier for churches and religious groups to take part in politics without risk of losing their tax-exempt status.

As CBN News previously reported, the order also stipulates that it is the duty of the executive branch to protect and promote religious liberty.

Price continued: "We welcome today's executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to reexamine the previous administration's interpretation of the Affordable Care Act's preventive services mandate, and commend President Trump for taking a strong stand for religious liberty".

Executive Director Anthony Romero said the signing of the order "was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome".

Still, Trump has long promised conservative Christians who supported his White House bid that he would block the regulation.

Despite the president's show of the bill, policy experts say that the order will have little to no noticeable effect on current policy. Organizers said more than 1,000 evangelical leaders were attending the conference, created to mobilize religious conservative voters ahead of the upcoming midterm elections and the 2016 presidential contest.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that the religious liberty order is the start of a process in reversing the "devastating trend set by the last administration to punish charities, pastors, family owned businesses and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith".

"We are giving our churches their voices back", said Trump, who signed the order on what he declared a National Day of Prayer. The Madison, Wisconsin-based group argues in the filing that the order is unconstitutional because it grants preferential treatment to religious organizations while secular groups must still abide by the law.

Despite Trump's executive order, the law remains on the books, and removing it will require an act of Congress.

"No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors". We are quickly reviewing the terms of the executive order, which we believe is not legally valid, and plan promptly to sue to block its implementation.

He said in February he would "totally destroy" the amendment.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent the IRS from implementing Trump's order.

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