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Evangelical leader claims Trump has accepted Christ

According to one leading evangelical figure, Donald Trump has found religion.

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, told Michael Anthony of Godfactor that Trump recently developed and accepted a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The interview took place Tuesday in New York, during the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's private event with evangelical leaders.

>> Read more trending stories 

Dobson said in the interview that evangelicals need to cut Trump some slack because he didn’t grow up with religion as they did. He also said of Trump, “He’s a nicer guy than you realize.”

According to exit polls, Trump fared well with evangelical voters during the primary season, despite questions about his faith.

Dobson encouraged everyone to pray for Trump.

California pastor supports Orlando massacre: 'They deserve what they got'

A California pastor said the nearly 100 people who were killed and injured in Orlando during a massacre at Pulse nightclub "deserve what they got."

>> Read more trending stories  

Forty-nine people died at Sunday morning when Omar Mateen, 29, stormed a popular LGBT venue and engaged in a shootout. Another 53 people were injured. 

Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, responded to the incident by delivering a sermon in which he expressed support for the tragedy.

"You don't mourn the death of them. They deserve what they got. You reap what you sow. But we don't advocate it either. We're not calling people to arms, and if somebody goes out and says I'm going to go kill sodomites, you don't listen to those people. That's not what we're saying."

Jimenez went as far as comparing the homosexual victims of the shootings to pedophiles and told his congregation they do not need to mourn the loss of the deceased.

"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" Jimenez asked in the sermon, which was later uploaded to YouTube. "Um, no. I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job because these people are predators. They are abusers."

Mateen was the 50th person who died during the massacre.

Jimenez continued by saying that he believes the government should "round them all up" and kill members of the LGBT community.

YouTube removed the video of the sermon stating it had been deleted for violating the company's policy on hate speech.

Ohio students told not to sing the Lord's Prayer at graduation had this bold response

Seniors at an Ohio high school are making headlines with their defiant response after being told not to sing the Lord's Prayer during their graduation ceremony.

According to WTOV, the prayer has been included in East Liverpool High School's commencement for seven decades. But that tradition looked like it was going to come to an end this year after the Freedom From Religion Foundation told the school to remove the prayer from the program because it violates the separation of church and state.

>> Read more trending stories

"We said, 'OK, we just won't do it anymore,'" school board President Larry Walton told WTOV. "It was a decision made because we don't have a lot of money, and we'd rather hire teachers than pay lawyers."

But the graduating class had other ideas. When valedictorian Jonathan Montgomery came onstage to speak Sunday, he led his fellow students in reciting the prayer. Afterward, the audience gave the grads a standing ovation.

>> Click here to watch

Parents capture touching photo of brother and sister praying before school

A touching photo shows two siblings taking some time to reflect before parting ways for the day.

The picture shared on Facebook by WJTV in Jackson, Mississippi, shows the kids standing in a driveway in front of their home. The boy, Jordan Wyatt, is dressed for school, wearing a white shirt tucked into his khakis.

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His little sister, Marlie Rain, wearing pajamas and her mother’s shoes, is holding both of his hands. Their eyes are closed in prayer.

The image, posted Thursday, has gone viral, with more than 4,000 shares and 8,900 likes.

“Since there is so much negativity being shown, especially with the youth, we can perhaps show some positive influence to other parents as well as the youth… Prayer changes things,” parent Juan Wyatt wrote.

Read more here.

>> Click here to see the Facebook post

Man admits to pulling off a woman's hijab on an airplane

North Carolina man pleaded guilty to "forcibly" pulling off a woman's hijab during a Southwest Airlines flight.

Gill Parker Payne admitted that he walked up to the stranger wearing the religious headscarf and told her to take it off during a flight from Chicago to Albuquerque at the end of last year.

>> Click here to watch the video from Newsy

In the plea agreement, Payne also admitted to saying something like "Take it off! This is America!" and pulling the woman's hijab completely off.

>> Read more trending stories

The U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico said: "This prosecution sends a clear message to anyone who contemplates the use of threats or intimidation to interfere with the right of individuals, including members of our Muslim community, to express their faith without fear."

Payne faces up to a year of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. A date for his sentencing hearing has not been set. 

This video includes an image from sittiealiah M A / CC BY 2.0.

Speaking to a higher power: 5 things to know about the National Day of Prayer

In an American tradition that stretches back to the '50s, the first Thursday in May marks the annual National Day of Prayer.

>> Read more trending stories  

The main event will be in Washington, D.C., where faith leaders will lead prayers for the country's leaders according to IBTimes.

Here are five things to know about the National Day of Prayer, according to nationaldayofprayer.org:

  1. It was started in 1952 with a bill initiated by Conrad Hilton of Hilton Hotels and Sen. Frank Carlson that required the President, which was Harry Truman at the time, to set aside a day of prayer on a day other than a Sunday.
  2. The first National Day of Prayer observance organized by the National Prayer committee occurred in 1983 at Constitution Hall, featuring then-Vice President George Bush as a speaker.
  3. In 1988, Ronald Reagan signed a law designating the first Thursday in May as the annual National Day of Prayer.
  4. President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1998 that required the president to proclaim the day every year as a day that people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals.
  5. 2016 marks the 65th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer.

Click here to read more facts about religion in America from Pew Research.

Noah's Ark to sail into San Diego

A replica of Biblical proportions will soon sail into the harbor in San Diego. 

A life-sized copy of Noah's Ark will travel by barge from the Netherlands to Brazil this summer for the Olympic and Paralympic games, KFMB reported.

It is then scheduled to visit Long Beach, San Diego and Seattle.

>> Read more trending stories  

The five-deck ship was built by carpenter Johan Huibers as a religious attraction. 

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And while the original Ark had animals loaded two-by-two, the replica includes life-sized model pairs of giraffes, elephants, crocodiles and many more animals.

It was created to be a museum and event center in partnership with the Ark of Noah Foundation.

The foundation's director said the group would like to build Ark of Hope Centers in areas that need help, KFMB reported.

There is no timeframe for the Ark's voyage to the United States.

Divine sign? Indiana mom's otherworldly ultrasound picture goes viral

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An Indiana mom's viral ultrasound picture isn't just unusual – some say it's otherworldly.

According to WFIE, Aley Meyer of Evansville, Indiana, was at her baby shower recently when a friend pointed out that a sonogram of her son, due in June, seems to include an image of Jesus on the cross.

>> Read more trending stories

"We took a picture of it and blew it up on my phone to get a closer look and it is so much detail," she told WFIE. "You can see the hair and his legs crossed and everything."

Meyer believes the image, which has gone viral on Facebook, is a sign. 

"I've been on a lot of medicine for my Crohn's disease, and I've been very worried about it, so I feel like it's a sign that everything's going to be OK with him," Meyer told WFIE.

Read more here.

>> Click here to see the viral image

>> Click here to watch the news report

Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

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