Kanye West and his complete transformation from hedonistic superstar to a faith-driven griot no longer beholden to his past have been met with both positive and negative results. The Chicago superstar will no doubt inspire more curious thought and critique after being announced as a headline for a 10-hour prayer rally known as Awaken 2020 which reportedly features notable critics of the LGBTQ movement.
As reported by local Arizona outlet ABC 15, West was announced as a headliner for the Awaken 2020 rally last week after tickets for the event were made available to the public, although it was a free event. The event sold out on Eventbrite by Jan. 8, and organizers have not released a final tally of registrations.
As noted by the outlet, West and his Sunday Service outfit will take the stage at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. in the city’s downtown section on Jan. 18. 2020.
From Awaken 2020’s website:
This January 18th, 2020 at Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona, it’s time for you to be part of the Jesus awakening that is shifting HISTORY. Open the door and enter into a new era, a new decade, of revival that is bringing a movement of signs and wonders, healing of the sick, and preaching of the gospel.
Several outlets, such as the New York Daily News, have reported that Awaken 2020 will feature invited guests who have become infamous for their stances against the LGBTQ community. Guillermo Maldonado, who has publicly supported President Donald Trump, is a staunch critic of LGBTQ. Cindy Jacobs, a so-called prophet, is also said to be known for her negative views of LGBTQ.
UPDATE: The following is a statement from the organizers of Awaken 2020, which highlights that the rally hasn’t invited one controversial speaker and explained its reasoning for having Kanye West at the event.
From Awaken 2020’s press team:
Despite some media outlets wrongly printing certain associations to our event, we want to make it specifically clear that:
Lou Engle is not affiliated with, nor is he an organizer or partner of or a speaker at Awaken 2020.
In addition, Awaken 2020 invited Kanye West to headline our Awaken 2020 event because we believe God has given Kanye a powerful platform to share his personal testimony with the world and to showcase the love, grace, and redeeming power of God by lifting up the name of Jesus. Like Kanye, Awaken 2020 has no place for affiliation of hate or harm toward any other person.
If any of our past potential or current event participants, speakers, and collaborators were affiliated with any such harmful platforms in any way or at any time, we do not support any view points as such.