Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston have both been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Christian Today reports Trump was selected by an anonymous nominator who praised "his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and communist China."
However, Kristian Berg Harpviken of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo said it was unlikely that Trump would secure the prize.
Emanuel AME Church was nominated for promoting peace after eight church members and their pastor were shot and killed by 21-year-old Dylann Roof in June 2015. A group of U.S. politicians including Thronton Township supervisor Frank Zuccarelli nominated the church for their peaceful response to the massacre, including offering Roof forgiveness.
Zuccarelli said, "If anyone was responsible for promoting the peace, it was Mother Emanuel and the church leadership. They demonstrated more love, peace and forgiveness than we have ever seen before... They are a great example for us all to follow."
An online petition supporting Emanuel AME Church for the prize reads, "In some other city, an incident of such hatred and racist horror might have sparked an outpouring of anger, violence and divisiveness – driving crowds into the streets in clashes with each other and police. Instead, something unexpected happened – an outpouring of unity and forgiveness.”
"The entire community of Charleston – church, ordinary citizens, political leaders, business leaders and law enforcement, came together to support those families who lost loved ones. They came together in a spirit of forgiveness, love and peace – not anger or hatred."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is made up of five members. The Committee will hold its first judging meeting Feb. 29.
Publication date: February 4, 2016