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Trump says he now identifies as a nondenominational Christian

Trump says he now identifies as a nondenominational Christian

U.S. President Donald J. Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (C) are greeted by Reverend W. Bruce McPherson (L) as they arrive to attend services at St. John's Episcopal Church March 17, 2019, in Washington, DC, USA. The Trumps are attending church on St. Patrick's Day. | (Photo: Getty Images/Eric Lesser)

President Trump is largely known to be a Presbyterian in terms of his religious identity, but in a media interview, he said he now identifies as a “nondenominational Christian.”

“Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian,” Trump told Religious News Service in a written statement, responding to the question, “Do you consider yourself an evangelical Christian?”

The president also stated, “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.”

On Palm Sunday, Trump was among the 1.3 million who watched California megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie’s Palm Sunday webcast service. He also announced that he watched the Sunday service of Pastor Jentezen Franklin at Free Chapel in Georgia, and Pastor Robert Jeffress of Frist Baptist Dallas, among others, during the lockdowns. 

In August, the president and first family requested to be ministered to by the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, senior pastor of New Season Church in Sacramento, California, after the death of Robert Trump, the president's brother. 

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Last June, the president made an unannounced visit to McLean Bible Church in Virginia, where Pastor David Platt privately shared the Gospel with him in a “forthright and compassionate” manner before a public prayer during the service.

Platt, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board, explained at the time that he prayed for the president because 1 Timothy 2:1-6 urges in part that Christians pray “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

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. The couple is most often seen attending services on holidays at Bethesda-by-the-Sea when the first family is at their Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. 

In 2017, after members of 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, which his interpreter told Trump is "a symbol of peace."

"I am giving you this because I hope you may be this olive tree to make peace," the pope is said to have told Trump in Spanish.

"We can use peace," the president reportedly responded.

In a 2015 interview with CBN less than a month before he announced his run for president that year, Trump talked about his faith and promised that if he became president, he would be the best representative of Christians in the White House that America has seen in a long time.

“First of all, I’m Protestant. I’m Presbyterian. I’m proud of it. I’m very proud of it,” Trump told CBN’s David Brody at the time. “Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they’ve had in a long time.”

In 2011, Trump told Human Events and other news outlets that he was “a believer.”

Also in 2011, he told CBN he attended First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica Queens, which is part of the Presbyterian U.S.A. denomination.

Some past articles and interviews listed Trump as a member of the Reformed Church of America, but later, he said he was Presbyterian. He has said he goes to church on Sunday when he can and always on Christmas, Easter, and special occasions.

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