In the wake of the deadly terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande in Manchester, Pastor Greg Laurie said there is clearly a "spiritual dynamic in play here" and urged Christians to pray for the protection of the United States and for the people in England.
"I just heard the horrible news about what appears to be a terrorist attack in Manchester, England," Laurie, the senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, said in a Facebook video. "This is horrible and this is happening while our president is meeting with leaders to try to fight terrorism. Listen folks, we need to realize that there is a spiritual dynamic in play here. When our president says this is good versus evil, there is a lot of truth to that."
At least 22 people were murdered --including children -- and 64 others were injured in the suspected terror attack Monday night, which police say was carried out 22-year-old Salman Abedi using an "improvised explosive device." Online, ISIS supporters began celebrating the attack, and the group officially claimed responsibility on Tuesday through its Amaq News Agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Laurie continued, "We need to pray for God's protection in our country, the United States, and we need to be praying for the people in Manchester, England, and all the people in the U.K. that God would help them."
"I would say to all people everywhere - turn to God and call out to him in the day of trouble," Laurie added. "The Lord is listening."
On Sunday, President Donald Trump spoke at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and asserted that the fight against radical extremism is "this is a battle between good and evil."
"This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it," Trump said in the speech.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that Abedi -- whose parents emigrated from Libya -- did not work alone, and on Wednesday, three more men were arrested, including Abedi's 23-year-old brother. Abedi, who was already known to UK authorities, is believed to have traveled to Syria and become radicalized before returning to the UK to carry out the deadly attack. He also had "proven" links with ISIS.
As reported, ISIS praised Abedi following the attack and warned of future "more severe attacks on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies."
"With Allah's grace and support, a soldier of Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester, in revenge for Allah's religion, in an endeavor to terrorize the mushirkin and in response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims," the statement said. "The explosive devices were detonated in the shameless concert arena, resulting in 30 Crusaders being killed and 70 others being wounded. And what comes next will be more severe on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah's permission. And all praises is due to Allah, Lord of the creation."
On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May took Britain's alert level from "severe" to its highest rating, "critical", and suggested that Abedi may have been part of a wider network poised to strike again. The decision, she said, was "a proportionate and sensible response to the threat that our security experts judge we face."