Trump at St. John's Episcopal Church
Trump at St. John's Episcopal Church (Photo: White House/Flickr)

Evangelical Christians whose support was vital to Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory are expected to continue standing by their “imperfect vessel" despite him becoming the first U.S. president indicted on criminal charges, experts said.

The Guardian reported Saturday that the hugely influential voting bloc stuck by Trump in the past because it compared him to King Cyrus, an '"imperfect vessel" who "in the biblical telling liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity, despite himself being a Persian ruler who did not believe in the god of Israel.”

They believed God was using Trump for the greater good – to hand power in the U.S. back to white conservative Christians, the Guardian reported.

And, despite the allegations that he made illegal hush money payments to a porn actress to cover up an extramarital affair, that support is unlikely to waiver.

“The evidence from the public opinion data suggests that it will not make much difference,” Robert Jones, the president and founder of Public Religion Research Institute and author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, told the news website.

“When we look back at his favorability over time, you know, I think there have been any number of these bright lines, where people thought: ‘Oh, this will be the thing that causes white evangelicals to abandon this candidate.’ But we just don’t see that much movement.”

Trump’s support among the group remained strong despite accusations of his sexually assaulting women, his failing to denounce white supremacists and the emergence of hush money allegations in 2018, the Guardian reported. In the 2020 presidential election, 75% of white evangelicals voted Trump.

“At every rally he was talking about ‘build the wall’ to keep Mexican immigrants out of the US. He was going to ban travel from Muslim-majority countries. I think it was those kinds of appeals that communicated this worldview that the country was rightfully owned by white Christians, and he was going to protect that view of the country.”

“You would think, you know, that paying hush money to a porn star might rile some white evangelicals,” John Fea, author of Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump and a professor of American history at Messiah College, told the Guardian.

“They clearly see this as a witch-hunt. They see this as a politically motivated prosecution. Almost to a man and a woman that’s how they’re interpreting this.”

“Make America Great Again, to white evangelicals, means: ‘Make America Christian Again,'" Fea added.