President Donald Trump shared some insight into his religious beliefs that may come as a surprise to both his supporters and his critics.
In an interview with the Religious News Service published Friday, the president revealed that he now considers himself to be 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,” Trump said in a written response to the publication.
Parents instilled faith
The president’s admission is a change from past statements in which he repeatedly identified as a Presbyterian.
“I’m a Protestant; I’m a Presbyterian,” Trump said in 2012, according to Religion News. “And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion.”
The president did not elaborate in the interview on the reason why he changed from Presbyterian to non-denominational. He did, however, speak a bit about his faith, saying that his parents taught him “the importance of faith and prayer from a young age.”
“[First Lady] Melania [Trump] and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world,” Trump wrote. “During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same.”
“Miracles coming down from heaven”
Trump also spoke about his recent experience with contracting the coronavirus. He said that he and the first lady, who also contracted COVID-19, “felt the prayers of Americans from all across the country — and even around the world.”
“I said, ‘There were miracles coming down from heaven,'” Trump wrote. “I meant it — Melania and I are very thankful to God for looking out for our family and returning us to good health.”
The president also remarked on the way many states have been restricting worship as a way of supposedly controlling the spread of COVID-19. “Thankfully, many great churches are now back open and meeting in person,” he said.
A key group
This interview provides a rare insight into a sitting president’s religious beliefs.
Time will tell whether this crucial voting bloc will help propel Trump to a second term.