Pope Francis held up a black T-shirt adorned with an American flag last week on YouTube and urged young people to journey to Washington, D.C., this month.
“Wear this T-shirt in unison, and respond to the great restlessness,” Francis said in a video announcement. “I invite you to a great gathering. Jesus is waiting for you.”
The T-shirt is paraphernalia for an event called Together 2016, which aims to be one of the biggest gatherings of Christians in American history.
The goal of Together 2016 is to get 1 million Christians to journey to the National Mall on July 16 for a day of unifying prayer. Nick Hall, the founder of the movement, hopes to unite people of all kinds.
“Jesus welcomes you whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. He welcomes you whether you’re young or old. Jesus is an equal-opportunity employer,” said Mr. Hall, an evangelical preacher who lives in Minneapolis.
Dozens of major Christian musicians and speakers from many denominations will perform on a stage near the Washington Monument. Among them are Francis Chan, LeCrae, Crowder, Hillsong, Passion, Ravi Zacharias, Christine Caine and Kirk Franklin.
“If we’re singing the same songs together, then we can’t yell at each other,” said Matt Maher, a Catholic musician and eight-time Grammy Award nominee who will perform July 16.
Together 2016 will be held in the midst of a presidential campaign season and after divisive U.S. Supreme Court rulings on homosexuality and abortion.
“I think in this year, there’s so much going on in our country right now. Everybody is tired of the real sense of division that exists. I think in some ways, it’s kind of gridlocked D.C.,” said Mr. Maher. “Obviously as Christians, we believe in the importance of prayer. Things can change when we take time to pray.”
Thousands of footsteps on the Mall usually leave stark impressions in American history books.
Rev 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.