Elections 2020FederalIssuesCastro, Dems Face Blowback Over “Easter Worshipper” Statements

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is facing criticism for describing Christians murdered in Sri Lanka as "Easter worshippers."
April 22, 2019
Some prominent Democrats came under fire on Easter Sunday for tweets released hours after deadly terrorist attacks killed hundreds of Christians in Sri Lanka. Former mayor of San Antonio and presidential hopeful Julián Castro released the following statement on Twitter in the aftermath of the attack:

“On a day of redemption and hope, the evil of these attacks on Easter worshippers and tourists in Sri Lanka is deeply saddening. My prayers today are with the dead and injured, and their families. May we find grace.”

The criticism and backlash occurred almost immediately after Castro, former President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and a number of Democratic governors characterized the victims as “Easter worshippers” instead of “Christians.”

Notably, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), also a presidential candidate, was not among those who used the “Easter worshipper” phrase. Instead, the former Congressman from El Paso said, “These acts of terror against Christians in Sri Lanka are unspeakably tragic. Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We owe them our commitment to making our world a place where no family lives in fear of persecution because of how they worship.”

Some outspoken conservatives on social media, like Matt Walsh, point out that President Obama and Hillary Clinton did not avoid identifying Muslims as victims when speaking against the savage terrorist attacks in New Zealand just weeks ago.

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Former Independent Journal Review senior editor, Caleb Hull, simply asked, “What is an Easter worshipper?”

Thus far, the Castro campaign has not released a statement responding to criticism over the use of the peculiar phrase.

According to a recent April poll, Julián Castro is currently polling at 1 percent with Democratic primary voters. He is currently eligible for the first debate stage in Miami, FL on June 26 and 27.

As of April 15, Castro has raised $1.1 million dollars in campaign donations for his presidential bid.


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Tony Guajardo

Tony Guajardo is a reporter for The Texan. He has been involved in politics since the fall of 2012 when he served as an intern for the now-retired U.S. Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-San Antonio). He is a native of Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University.