Scott Morrison’s spiritual mentor, the Hillsong founder Brian Houston, has “prayed for president Trump” while on an official visit to the White House for a faith briefing with other religious leaders.
In a video recorded at the White House and released on Tuesday, Houston tells supporters that he is in the cabinet room and has “just had the chance to pray for president Trump”.
“I do, as an Australian, really believe that we need a strong America in the world, and when America is strong the world is a better place,” Houston says.
“What a great opportunity it has been to see some of the initiatives that are happening to help freedom of religion, and to just see the great spirit in the White House where people are optimistic about the future.
“Praise God for the opportunity.”
The official visit comes just two months after Morrison refused to confirm or deny whether Houston had been included on the White House state dinner guest list by his office. Morrison dismissed the issue as “gossip” and has continued to dodge questions.
Another post released by the White House featuring “worship leaders” from Nashville said the delegation had prayed together in the cabinet room and the Oval Office.
Delegates received a “faith briefing” on what the White House was doing to protect religious freedom, according to the video.
On Monday Houston, the “global senior pastor” and founder of Hillsong, an evangelical megachurch, published a video of himself in front of the White House, within its fenced grounds, to social media, telling his followers “Well here I am at the White House. Never say never.”
“It’s a great honour, of course, to have had the chance to go into the cabinet room, even into the Oval Office and pray for the president of the United States of America.
“To me, it’s not about the politics, it’s about the position, and a significant man like the president of the US can use all the prayer we can possibly give him.”
Houston has not said who invited him to the White House and media inquiries to Hillsong have so far gone unanswered.
Last week Morrison accused Labor of “attacking” his faith when the opposition again questioned why he would not say whether Houston was on the guest list for the state dinner Trump held for Morrison and his party in September.
A report in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, which reported that Houston’s name had been struck off the potential guest list by Trump’s office, kicked off months of questions after Morrison refused to give a straight answer about whether he had put Houston’s name forward as a potential attendee.
In 2015 the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse found Houston had failed to alert police about allegations his father, Frank, had sexually assaulted children.
In its final report the commission found multiple failings within the church executive, which at the time was led by Brian Houston, in responding to the allegations.
The elder Houston confessed to having committed child abuse in the late 1990s after a victim, Brett Sengstock, who has waived his anonymity to speak out on the matter, reported the abuse he had suffered during the 60s and 70s to the Australian Christian Churches.
The royal commission found Frank Houston was allowed to resign from his position and received a church pension until his death in 2004.
Last month NSW police confirmed an investigation into the matter remained open. The NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, told a NSW parliamentary committee last year that Houston had refused to be interviewed by police about his father’s confession.
Morrison referred to his relationship with Houston in his first speech to parliament in 2008, describing him among “dedicated church leaders” who had “greatly assisted” him through their pastoral work, leading to Houston to be referred to as one of Morrison’s mentors.
In the weeks after the state dinner invitation controversy, Houston sought to play down their relationship.
“If people only know how little I talked to the prime minister at all – it seems I am a lot more important in people’s eyes than I really am,” he told 2GB.
“When he first became prime minister, I got a short message from him saying pray for Jen, his wife and two kids. He came to the conference with a group of people. I had coffee with him afterwards. And after that I got a message from him just thanking me for hosting him at the conference. That has been my entire contact with the prime minister the entire time he has been prime minister.”
- Top Tibetan political leader visits White House for the first time in six decades
- Obama jokes that Navy SEALs could remove Trump from the White House
- Church Leader Sean Feucht Visits White House During ‘Superspreader’ Tour
- John Bolton says Trump will try to "squeeze" Michigan officials during White House visit
- Michigan GOP legislators appear at Trump Hotel after White House meeting
- Liberals turn on Boston Globe for suggesting Americans don’t want to see Trump dragged from White House
- Tibetan leader visits White House for first time in 60 yrs
- Head of Tibet government-in-exile visits White House for first time in six decades
- Will leave White House if Electoral College declares Joe Biden winner: Donald Trump
- Trump says Biden can only enter the White House as president if he can 'prove' his 'ridiculous 80M votes' were NOT 'obtained by fraud' as he appears to row back peaceful transition claims
- President Trump Says He Will Leave The White House If The Electoral College Formalizes Joe Biden’s Victory
- 'That was weird as s**t': Bemused White House reporters are baffled by Trump's 60-second press conference to celebrate Dow Jones breaking 30,000 points for first time
- Will leave White House if Electoral College declares Biden winner: Trump
- Trump Says He Didn't Want to Stay Locked in White House But Will Spend Next Few Days In Military Hospital Suite
- White House considers lifting European travel restrictions
- Kayleigh McEnany Brands Student Petition to Ban Trump Officials from Visiting Harvard 'Censorship'
- Revealed: Defense Secretary Mark Esper ‘sent a classified memo to the White House expressing concerns about a quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan before Trump fired him’
- Joe Biden to spend 78th birthday meeting with top Democrats as Donald Trump brings Michigan Republicans to White House in his continuing quest to overturn election
- White House still planning holiday parties, despite warnings
- 'Don't ever talk to the president that way!' Trump blasts reporter who interrupts him to ask if he will concede - but admits he WILL leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden
Brian Houston 'prays for Trump' during official visit to White House have 1137 words, post on www.theguardian.com at December 10, 2019. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.