The minister who electrified the royal wedding with his powerful sermon on love and equality led a march to protest against Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Bishop Michael Curry, the most senior figure in the American Episcopal Church, told an audience at the National City Christian Church in Washington: “Love your neighbour. That’s why we’re here.
“Love the neighbour you like and love the neighbour you don’t like. Love the neighbour you agree with and the neighbour you don’t agree with.
“Love your Democrat neighbour, your Republican neighbour. Your black neighbour and your white neighbour, your Anglo neighbour, your Latino, your LGBTQ neighbour.”
Around 2,000 people attended the service and afterwards a procession of clergy and people of faith silently carried candles from the church to Lafayette Square – a park facing the White House.
Leaders formed a prayer circle and took turns to read a declaration which said: “We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith.
“We reject ‘America First’ as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal.
“We reject the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership.”
The declaration calls upon Christians to reject the “growing attacks on immigrants and refugees who are being made into cultural and political targets”.
After the vigil, reporters surrounded the bishop shouting questions about the royal wedding and whether he had spoken to Price Harry and Meghan Markle.
He laughed and said: “Oh Lord, no.”
At the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan at Windsor last Saturday, Bishop Curry delivered a passionate, lengthy address about the power of love, referencing slavery.
He quoted civil rights hero Dr Martin Luther King and powered on citing spirituals, medieval poetry and the experiences of slaves in the American south.