As recovery gets underway in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, voices calling for federal relief money to be used for houses of worship are growing louder. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we look at the relationship between the federal government and faith communities following a disaster.

Who are the evangelical leaders seen in photographs surrounding Donald Trump in the Oval Office? And what influence do they have? Religion News Service took the time to answer those questions in their in-depth profile: “All the president’s clergymen: A close look at Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ ties with evangelicals.” This week, host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with Religion News Service editor-in-chief Jerome Socolovsky about who these leaders are and what they want.

Much of what’s made headlines in this country in recent months – including conflicts over race, politics, religion and so much more – can be traced back to demographic changes in our nation over recent years. Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and author of the book The End of White Christian America, will join Welton to share his insights on those demographic changes and what’s coming next based on new research about America’s changing religious identity.

FEMA and other government agencies sprang into action after the recent hurricanes, earning widespread applause for their work. Still, there’s a need for much more than official channels can offer. Welton will speak with Rev. Gregory Han, director of interfaith relations at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, about what’s been happening in Houston since Hurricane Harvey and the faith-driven recovery response there.

Finally, Welton will reflect on his experience as a pastor in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina and the critical need in the aftermath of a disaster for government to do its job while letting faith communities do theirs.

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