Chris Lange, FISM News
A group of evangelical Christian leaders from around the country kicked off a Bible reading marathon in Washington D.C. on Saturday.
This year marks the 34th anniversary of the U.S. Capitol Bible Reading and includes the first-ever Congressional Bible reading. Participating members of Congress will read Scripture passages aloud in the Chaplain’s office of the House of Representatives. The event features hundreds of people who will read the entire Bible aloud in multiple languages for 90 continuous hours.
According to a Center Square report, the reading was organized by Faith & Liberty, a nonprofit evangelistic ministry based in Orlando, Florida. The event was approved by both House and Senate leadership.
Faith & Liberty vice president Peggy Nienaber said the marathon reading “celebrates the power of God’s Word, and the right of all Americans to exercise their freedom to religiously express themselves.” She added that the marathon has taken on added significance at a time when Americans are struggling with “uncertainty and unrest.”
Participating faith leaders said that reading Scripture aloud outside the Capitol building underscores the important role faith leaders have played in shaping the nation’s political process.
“The Bible is the foundation of America, and within those pages, we find the only answer for hope for this nation,” Nienaber said.
TRUTH MAY BE ‘UNDER ATTACK,’ BUT GOD IS ‘STILL ON THE THRONE’
Ahead of this year’s event, a group of 80 pastors from multiple states met with members of Congress to reaffirm their dedication to playing an integral role in today’s culture. The group is part of an initiative spearheaded by “Faith Wins.” The South Carolina-based nonprofit formed the group with the goal of “mobilizing faith leaders to use their influence to impact the political landscape,” per the report. America’s cultural and socio-economic issues, they argue, are spiritual, rather than political, concerns.
Chad Connelly, Faith Wins’ founder, told The Center Square that the group is focused on ministering to political leaders because “there’s a higher authority than government: God.”
“America was the first place to say our rights don’t come from the state,” Connelly said. He noted that Americans “have inalienable rights that are endowed by our creator.” Quoting from the Declaration of Independence, Connelly declared that “we hold these truths to be self-evident.” He added that, even though “truth is under attack these days, God is still on the throne. He is sovereign over all governments and more than any government will ever be.”
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), a participant in the reading, pointed out that “… Church services used to be held routinely in the Capitol, and it is always moving to hear prayers and hymns echoing in the Rotunda.”
Keith Davidson, founder and director of Indiana-based ministry group Seedline International credited with spearheading this year’s event, recently told The Christian Post that he hoped this year’s marathon reading will “draw attention back to the Bible” and remind Americans that “our founding fathers and founding principles of our country were for expressing our First Amendment rights and the freedom of speech.”
Davidson noted that pandemic lockdowns had forced the event to relocate to the Faith and Liberty Headquarters in D.C. for the past three years and said he is happy that it has finally returned to the Capitol.
“For us, it’s a privilege to be back outside facing west, viewing the Washington Monument in the background, and just being out on the Capitol steps and on Capitol grounds is just … a good thing; we’re excited about that,” he said.
The Bible Reading Marathon is streaming on Seedline International’s YouTube channel. Faith & Liberty has also been posting videos from the marathon on its Facebook page.