Christianity Today Subscriptions Rose After Op-Ed Calling for Donald Trump's Removal From Office, Magazine Says

The editor-in-chief of Christianity Today said in an interview on MSNBC that the magazine has received enough new subscribers to more than make up for the ones it lost after publishing a controversial op-ed calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office after his impeachment.

Mark Galli, who serves as the top editor of the evangelical magazine founded in 1956 by eminent preacher Billy Graham, spoke about the subscriptions Monday on Politics Nation, the MSNBC talk show hosted by the Reverend Al Sharpton.

In the interview, Sharpton, himself a Baptist minister, asked Galli what the impact of the op-ed, published Thursday, has been on the magazine.

"On the plus side, although we've lost hundreds of subscribers—let's be frank about it—we've gained three times as many subscribers," Galli answered. "So I think overall, at least [in] the world we live in, it's been affirmative."

The magazine has a print circulation of 120,000 per month, two-thirds of which come from paid subscribers, according to the Washington Post. Precisely how, and if, the op-ed will have a significant effect on the magazine's circulation remains to be seen.

The op-ed — which called for the president to be removed from office on the grounds that his July phone call with the Ukrainian president was "not only a violation of the Constitution" but also "profoundly immoral," — was published one day after the House of Representatives impeached Trump for abusing his power as president and for obstructing Congress.

The op-ed caused a stir when it was published, as the magazine is geared toward Evangelicals, who have lent significant support to Trump as a candidate and as president. Nearly 180 Evangelical leaders signed a letter to the president of Christianity Today expressing their "dissatisfaction" with the op-ed.

After Sharpton reminded Galli that Trump won 80 percent of white evangelicals' votes in the 2016 presidential election (to 16 percent for Hillary Clinton), he asked Galli whether he believed that the op-ed could impact votes in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. The editor responded that he was not sure, but that he was thankful for the positive feedback that the op-ed did receive.

"I was not aware of how deeply anxious so many people were that an evangelical magazine hadn't come out and said this," he said. "I'll be honest with you: I have felt this and believed this ... but I was not aware of how deeply appreciative they would be for someone to just say out loud and in front of God and everybody, what we think the situation is."

In October, the magazine announced that Galli would be soon retiring from his post at Christianity Today, effective January 3, 2020.

Trump At White House Mental Health Summit
President Donald Trump speaks at a White House Mental Health Summit in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House on December 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty