Amid the division and unrest seen across the U.S. following Donald Trump's poll-defying win, a diverse group of Christian leaders are calling for unity - and urging believers of all backgrounds to join them.
While recognizing the "deeply divisive nature of this election cycle," dozens of religious leaders from all political backgrounds signed a petition calling on the nation to nevertheless "unite around the election of the new President in recognition, acceptance, and support of the same."
"Above our Democratic, Republican, and Independent political affiliations, we are believers in Christ's call to be honorable citizens and peacemakers, who seek the prosperity of our nation," reads the petition, which will be sent to both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee. "We affirm that the Constitution, which guarantees our religious freedoms, allows us to have differing beliefs and opinions, and is the document that maintains the unity and civility of our nation."
The petition, signed by notable faith leaders including Bishop Claude Alexander of The Park Church, Dr. Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. A R Bernard, Senior Pastor of Christian Cultural Center, and more, urge Americans to "put partisan politics aside and end the toxic gridlock."
"It is time for men and women of goodwill to work together towards finding solutions to the many challenges that confront the American people," reads the pledge.
Concluding the petition, the religious leaders commit themselves to praying for "God's granting of wisdom to the incoming President, the Congress, and the Courts, as well as to hold both elected branches of government accountable to the promises they made, to lead and work on behalf of all of the citizens of this great nation."
The religious leaders' call is timely, as thousands of angered by Trump's election have staged days of protests in cities around the U.S., including New York City, Washington, D.C., Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland. While some protesters marched peacefully, others have turned violent, burning U.S. flags and destroying small business, costing well over $1 million in property damage.
Portland, Oregon, has been the site of the most violent anti-Trump demonstrations with a shooting and the arrest of 71 people, according to CNN. Protests aren't expected to cease anytime soon, as many have threatened a mass protest during Trump's inauguration at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2017.
The President-elect himself as called for unity following his controversial win, and pledged to work to heal a divided country throughout his time in office.
"Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division, we have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say, it is time for us to come together as one united people," Trump said at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan following his win. "I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me."