President-elect Donald Trump continues to select people for Cabinet posts and many are noticing that several of his choices are devout Christians from a variety of denominations.
In Washington D.C.-speak, it is often said that "people are policy." Exit polling data showed that over 80 percent of white evangelical Christians supported Trump on Nov. 8, though others dispute that figure. Notable attention is being given to the number of people surrounding the president-elect for key roles in his administration who have spoken about how they bring their faith in Christ on their work and how it influences their political worldview.
Here are 5 people that will likely serve in top leadership positions in the federal government for the next four years who are professing Christians.
Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, Vice President-Elect
Few politicians have been as vocal about their faith in Jesus than the man Trump selected to serve as his vice president, Indiana governor Mike Pence.
Throughout his career, no matter the public office, Pence has routinely introduced himself as "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."
As The Christian Post reported Oct. 12, Pence was raised Roman Catholic and during his young adult years he did not always see the relevance of faith. But while at Hanover College, his alma mater, he "was attracted to a group of students he met who had what he characterized as a contagious joy for life, people who had an inner strength in good times and bad."
"I began to meet young men and women who talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," Pence said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2010. "That had not been a part of my experience."
He has recounted on several occasions that when he was exploring the Christian faith during college he found himself admiring a golden cross that his fraternity brother was wearing. Upon inquiring about this necklace, his friend said to him: "Mike, you've got to wear it in your heart before you wear it around your neck."
That statement made a lasting impression on him and at a Christian music festival in Kentucky soon thereafter, Pence committed his life to Jesus Christ.
Pence and his wife Karen attend The College Park Church in North Indianapolis, an evangelical megachurch.
Betsy DeVos, Philanthropist
Trump's pick to head the Department of Education is a national leader in the school choice movement and has deep ties to the Christian Reformed community in western Michigan.
Betsy DeVos sees her mission to transform the American education system as an outworking of her faith.
As Politico reported Dec. 2, in a 2001 speech to a gathering of Christian philanthropists, DeVos, along with her husband Richard, spoke about the importance of engaging culture for the Kingdom of Christ and not just retreat to their own smaller faith-based enclaves. This includes the realm of education.
While in Israel on a trip the DeVoses learned about the geography of the land that affected how they view engaging society.
The Shephelah was the middle physical ground between the foothills where the Israelites lived and the coasts where the pagans lived. In this in-between space the clashing cultures met.
"Our desire is to be in that Shephelah, and to confront the culture in which we all live today in ways that will continue to help advance God's Kingdom, but not to stay in our own faith territory," DeVos said.
"We could give every single penny we have, everybody in this room could give every single penny they had, and it wouldn't begin to touch what is currently spent on education every year in this country and what is in many cases ... not well spent," she added.
CP noted on Nov. 28 that DeVos has previously served as an elder for Mars Hill Church, where Rob Bell used to be the lead pastor.
Jeff Sessions, U.S. Senator from Alabama
U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions will be the next attorney general, the nation's chief law enforcement officer, pending Senate confirmation
According to his Senate bio, Sessions "has served as a lay leader and as a Sunday school teacher at his family's church, Ashland Place United Methodist Church, in Mobile. He served as the Chairman of his church's Administrative Board and has been selected as a delegate to the annual Alabama Methodist Conference."
Sessions was also the first sitting U.S. Senator to back the President-elect's candidacy. He is widely considered to be a leading immigration hawk and has spoken out strongly in favor of strict screening of immigrants who come from the Islamic world.
"It goes beyond being unwise," Sessions said during a December 2015 Senate hearing debating an amendment which states that the Senate would not make policy that discriminates against new immigrants on the basis of religion.
"It is reckless. It is absolute and without qualification. It could have pernicious impacts for decades, even centuries to come. It may be even a step from the concept of the nation-state to the idea of 'global citizenship.'"
Ben Carson, Neurosurgeon
The famous Johns Hopkins medical doctor who was one of seventeen Republican candidates to run for president in the 2016 cycle is set to be the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While he was held in high esteem by many before for his medical accomplishments, Carson rose to political prominence following a keynote speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. In the speech he criticized political correctness, President Obama's signature health care reform law, and called for a tax system based on the biblical concept of the tithe.
Carson's story of rising from urban poverty in Michigan to becoming an acclaimed neurosurgeon has inspired many people on the left and the right.
Carson, a Seventh-Day Adventist, told Religion News Service in 1999 that "I spend just as much time in non-Seventh-day Adventist churches because I'm not convinced that the denomination is the most important thing ... I think it's the relationship with God that's most important."
As CP reported in May of last year, Carson said in a 2008 interview with PBS that his faith deepened when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"And I just said, 'Lord, if it's time for me to go, You know what is best.' I don't want to go, but if it's time, that's fine, I trust You,' and I was at peace. It gave me more perspective and I think it really did — think I was pretty empathetic before, but I think I am even more empathetic now when people are facing death or when they are facing really horrible things, in terms of having a real sense of how they feel. So I think it was a good thing," Carson said.
Rick Perry, Former Governor of Texas
The longest serving Governor of Texas Rick Perry has been tapped to lead the Department of Energy, and has been outspoken in his defense of his state in defending religious freedom. Raised in Baptist and Methodist churches growing up, Perry was re-baptized in 2014. He and his wife used to attend the same United Methodist Church as President George W. Bush but then moved to the non-denominational Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas when he was governor.
As The Christian Post noted last year, in June of 2011 Perry helped to organize a day long fasting and prayer rally, called "The Response" in Houston, Texas in which he invited all U.S. governors to participate.
"Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters," Perry said at the rally.
As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy," he continued.