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Conservative Evangelist and Broadcaster Pat Robertson, Who Founded Christian Coalition, Dies at 93

Pat Robertson, the Evangelical Christian leader and broadcaster who made religion a powerful force in US politics, has died at the age of 93. Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the broadcast channel he founded, confirmed his death on Thursday. No cause of death was announced.

Robertson was known for hosting The 700 Club, a daily show that blended political commentary with religious news. He also unsuccessfully ran for President in 1988 and eventually galvanized the evangelical population in favor of Republicans.

Evangelical Christian Leader Pat Robertson Dies at 93

CBN released a statement on Thursday to announce Robertson’s death: “Pat Robertson, longtime TV host, religious broadcaster, educator, humanitarian, and one-time presidential candidate died at his home in Virginia Beach early Thursday morning. He was 93.”

Regent University in Virginia also mourned the broadcaster’s death on social media, writing, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved founder. Dr. Robertson was a globally-renowned leader, broadcaster, philanthropist, educator, author, and accomplished businessman.”

“And – most importantly – a faithful servant of God who dedicated his life to glorifying the Lord and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the statement read further. Born in 1930 in Lexington, Robertson was influenced by Dutch missionary Cornelius Vanderbreggen. He founded CBN in 1960 and started hosting The 700 Club in 1966.

Robertson Transformed Evangelical Movement into a Political Force

In 1961, Robertson was ordained as a Baptist minister. Through his show, which he hosted till 2021, he continued to send out the message of conservative Christian values to the audiences. The messages eventually gained momentum and became a political movement in the 1970s.

Robertson then founded the Christian Coalition, an organization that promoted conservative candidates that eventually played a great role in Republican politics. In 1980, the religious broadcaster extended his support to 1980 presidential candidate Ronald Reagan and helped him win the elections.

Robertson decided to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988 but lost to George HW Bush. In recent years, he showed his support for Donald Trump when the latter became President in 2017. He suffered a stroke in 2018 and decided to retire from The 700 Club three years later in 2021.

The Leader Made Several Controversial Statements

Robertson also sparked several controversies in his life with his statements. While promoting conservative values, he frequently targeted feminism, the LGBTQIA+ community, and abortion rights. He blamed American cultural liberalism for the 9/11 attacks and drew severe criticism.

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen,’” he had said in 2001.

Robertson went on to link the Haiti earthquake with the country’s independence movement against France. He also blamed abortion rights for Hurricane Katrina. When Trump became President, Robertson claimed that the people who were against him were ‘revolting against what God’s plan is for America’.

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