President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Religion News Service, said he no longer identifies as a Presbyterian and now sees himself as a non-denominational Christian.
“Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian,” he confirmed in a written response to RNS. Trump said his parents had taught him “the importance of faith and prayer from a young age.”
The President is polling strongly with US evangelicals ahead of the election.
Trump reiterated his belief that God was intimately involved in his personal recovery from the virus. “I said, ‘There were miracles coming down from heaven.’ I meant it,” he said.
“Melania and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world. During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same. Melania and I are very thankful to God for looking out for our family and re-turning us to good health,” he said.
Lifeway Research’s recent poll found that more than half of US protestant pastors (53%) are set to vote for Trump in the November 3 election, which represents a significantly higher level of support from the last presidential race. Only 1 in 5 (21%) of those surveyed this year said they would vote for Trump’s Democratic rival and former Vice President, Joe Biden, who identifies as a Catholic.
The president and first lady Melania Trump attended a worship service together at St. John’s Episcopal Church of Lafayette Square near the White House on Saint Patrick’s Day last year.
Last June, the president made an unannounced visit to McLean Bible Church in Virginia, where Pastor David Platt shared the Gospel with him in a “forthright and compassionate” way.
On Palm Sunday, Trump was among the 1.3 million who watched Californian Pastor Greg Laurie’s Palm Sunday webcast service. He also announced that he viewed service led by of Pastor Jentezen Franklin at Free Chapel in Georgia and Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church, Dallas during the lockdown.
In August, the president and first family requested to be ministered to by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, senior pastor of New Season Church in Sacramento, California, after the death of Robert Trump, the president’s brother.
In 2017, when the first family met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Melania Trump confirmed that she’s a practicing Roman Catholic.
During their meeting, the pontiff gave the president a split medallion held together by an olive tree. “I am giving you this because I hope you may be this olive tree to make peace,” the Pope told Trump, in Spanish. “We can use peace,” the president responded.
In an interview with CBN’s David Brody in 2015 just before he announced his run for presidency, Trump talked about his faith. “First of all, I’m Protestant. I’m Presbyterian. I’m proud of it. I’m very proud of it,” Trump said. “Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of Christians that they’ve had in a long time.”
The RNS interview was conducted in writing and covered a variety of faith topics, ranging from the president’s own spiritual life to his plans for the White House office.
(Picture Courtesy: Reuters)