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By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service

(RNS) Top leaders of the United Church of Christ are supporting Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, which has been under fire for sermons delivered there by Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who led Trinity for 36 years, has been heavily criticized for preaching sometimes inflammatory sermons that denounce the U.S. government. Small clips from sermons have been widely circulated on the Internet.
Obama credits Wright with bringing him to Christianity and has attended Trinity for nearly two decades.
At a meeting this month, the UCC’s 90-member executive council defended Wright, saying the media had “taken out of context and repeatedly broadcast certain controversial and prophetic statements” by Wright, who is now retired.
The council also said that each UCC church is “free to interpret God’s message,” affirmed the longstanding “prophetic role” of its pastors and asked members to pray for Trinity Chicago.
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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