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Trump courts evangelicals, says Christianity 'under siege'

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump found a receptive audience at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia on January 18, 2016Donald Trump declared himself a defender of besieged Christians in a campaign speech to more than 11,000 people, as the Republican presidential frontrunner openly courted evangelicals two weeks before the first nomination vote. The 69-year-old billionaire found a receptive audience at Virginia’s Liberty University, an evangelical bastion and a rite of passage for conservative presidential candidates from Ronald Reagan in the 1980s to Ted Cruz, Trump’s main Republican rival. After a Christian rock band warmed up the crowd, the real estate tycoon stressed his ties with evangelicals, who largely vote for conservatives and play a key role in which candidate ultimately wins the party’s nomination.

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