Monday, September 8, 2008

Video: Palin at church, talks of God's 'will' for oil pipeline and 'plan' for Iraq

By David Edwards, Scott Canon and Muriel Kane

Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has attended a number of different churches over the years, but for most of her adult life, she belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God, which has attracted attention for its unorthodox beliefs and practices.

In June, Palin addressed graduates of a youth ministry program at that church, telling them, "It was so cool growin' up in this church and gettin' saved here."

CNN's Jessica Yellin looked into the church's beliefs and reports that it practices speaking in tongues and also "teaches that Alaska will be a shelter at the end of the world."

A video produced by the church proclaims with apocalyptic imagery that "God has a destiny for the state of Alaska!" and in another clip someone from the church affirms, "I believe that Alaska's one of the refuge states."

Yellin acknowledged that "whether Palin shares these beliefs is unclear" but noted that "during her June visit, she described the Iraq War and a natural gas pipeline she is trying to build as part of God's plan."

Palin herself has not spoken publicly about her faith, but one Wasilla parishioner told Yellin that Palin's years at the Assembly of God had shaped her beliefs, saying, "She has a better idea of what God is wanting her to do and guiding her and leading her."

Since 2002, Palin has attended the non-denominational Wasilla Bible Church, which "has more traditional practices," according to Yellin. The pastor there, Larry Kroon, says, "She really cares about her God, and it doesn't get in the way of anything. ... She approaches everybody with respect."

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