When it’s not in the news for historic wildfires that have devoured hundreds of homes on its outskirts, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is nationally known as the home of the Air Force Academy and as the unofficial capital of evangelical Christianity.
The Springs, as it's called locally, plays host to lots of global evangelical organizations, including Focus on the Family, Compassion International and the International Bible Society. The concentration has earned the city the nickname “Vatican West” among some evangelicals.
The city is also home to Ted Haggard, who once headed the National Association of Evangelicals and who presided over the biggest church in the state, until he was felled by a gay sex and drugs scandal in 2006. Two years ago, Haggard started a new church in town.
That city’s evangelical flavor has made for some distinctly religious responses to the flames, which by Friday had destroyed 346 homes and had forced more than 36,000 people to evacuate. The fire has charred 16,700 acres, with 20,000 homes and scores of businesses still at risk.
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