Donald Trump has said he now identifies as a ‘non-denominational Christian’ despite being brought up as a Presbyterian.
The president announced his change in beliefs in an exclusive written interview with Religion News Service but gave no explanation for the sudden transformation.
‘Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian,’ Trump told the religious outlet.
He stopped short of describing himself as an evangelical Christian but went on to heap praise on his evangelical advisers for reopening churches despite the pandemic – that has claimed the lives of more than 228,000 Americans – rumbling on.
They ‘are passionate about America’s traditional values and want our churches to be open,’ he said.
‘Thankfully, many great churches are now back open and meeting in person.’
Churches and religious worship events have been hotbeds for the virus.
Just this week it emerged that a ‘superspreader’ event at the United House of Prayer For All People in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been directly linked to over 100 infections and three deaths.
Trump added that evangelicals are ‘amazing people [who] love the USA’.
‘These amazing people love the USA and have a genuine desire to work together for the betterment of all Americans,’ he said.
‘I appreciate their prayers and am encouraged by their great faith.’
Trump said his parents ‘taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age’ and that he and First Lady Melania Trump had met with many religious leaders during his time at the White House.
‘Melania and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world,’ he said.
He claimed he had regularly joined in virtual prayer services during the pandemic.
‘During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Rachel Sharp