NORFOLK, Va. -- Pat Robertson resigned Wednesday as president and member of the board of directors of the Christian Coalition, a political force of the religious right.
The religious broadcaster said he plans to concentrate on his Christian ministry.
''I'm going to be 72 in March, and I felt that in these years left to me that the most important thing was for me to focus on the spiritual ministry, where I started back in 1960,'' Robertson said in a telephone interview from his Christian Broadcasting Network headquarters in Virginia Beach. He founded CBN in 1960.
''We have seen what I consider the most extraordinary movement of spiritual revival in my entire lifetime. I want to be part of that.''
Robertson said he also wants to be more active overseas, noting that CBN now operates in more than 90 countries. He just returned from a visit to China last week.
''I would rather be active in spiritual ministry than engaged in political activity anymore,'' Robertson said.
The board chose Roberta Combs, who had been executive vice president, to replace him as president.
Robert-son founded the Christian Coalition in 1989, a year after his failed bid for the Republican nomination for president.
In a statement, Combs said the coalition will miss Robertson's active role.
''Pat Robertson's vision and tremendous sacrifice to give Christians a seat at the table was the inspiration for millions who are now in their communities actively defending America's Godly heritage,'' Combs said.
Robertson said he believes the coalition will remain strong without him.
''Any organization can be renewed and refreshed,'' he said.
He said he will continue to comment on public affairs on his ''700 Club'' television program. ''But my active participation as a member of the Christian Coalition has come to an end,'' he said.
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