Inside the anti-LGBTQ effort to put Christian prayer and the Bible back in schools

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“Grapevine” is a new NBC News podcast about faith and power — and what it means to protect children — in an American suburb. Listen to the series here.

Political and religious leaders who have long fought to put God and prayer back in schools are seizing on a growing backlash against transgender people to advance their agenda.

Some evangelical pastors who regularly deliver sermons in support of school prayer have recently added a new twist — preaching that Christian traditions are needed in classrooms to stop children from identifying as transgender.

At national conservative gatherings, politicians and activists have been attempting to draw direct connections between the lack of religious instruction in schools and the growing acceptance of transgender people in mainstream culture.