BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Mississippi-based organization hosting a January prayer rally featuring Gov. Bobby Jindal says the event's sole purpose is religious.

Critics of the American Family Association event have said the rally on LSU's campus is designed to further Jindal's presidential ambitions. They've vowed to protest the rally because they say the organization promotes an anti-gay agenda.

In a statement Friday, American Family Association President Tim Wildmon didn't directly address the controversy. But he says the rally was created "to approach God in humility and pray for his mercy, grace and guidance for our nation."

The Jan. 24 rally is expected to draw thousands and raise Jindal's profile. Jindal hasn't commented on the views of the American Family Association, which has linked same-sex marriage and abortion to tornadoes and Hurricane Katrina.

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