Beliefnet
A 24-hour prayer chain has been launched as Christian groups rally tosupport former Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft's nomination for attorneygeneral. Liberal groups alarmed by his conservative Christian background aremaking an all-out effort to prevent his confirmation.

Restoring the Gates, a Missouri-based prayer ministry, has organized around-the-clock prayer effort through the end of the confirmation hearing,due to begin next Tuesday. Leaders said that Ashcroft, a two-term Missourigovernor, was "a devout man of God, highly principled," who had shown"impeccable behavior and character."

In his BreakPoint radio commentary, Prison Fellowship founder CharlesColson said that the opposition to Ashcroft was based on the fact that he"is an evangelical and is not bashful about his beliefs. He believes in theBible, he's outspokenly pro-life, and he's opposed to the gay rightsagenda."

Newspapers today carried an Associated Press report telling how Ashcroftwas anointed by oil before each of his gubernatorial terms, and compared hispolitical victories and defeats to resurrections and crucifixions. Thereport said that in his 1998 autobiography John Ashcroft wrote it wasagainst his religion to impose religion on people, but "I also believe thatI need to invite God's presence into whatever I'm doing, including the worldof politics."
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