Did Trump go to church on Easter Sunday?

In recent years, photos of former President Donald Trump attending church have quickly emerged.

On Easter Sunday, Team Trump was quiet on the church front, even as he promoted his $60 Trump Bibles in a video on Truth Social.

“All Americans need a Bible in their home and I have a lot of them. It is my favorite book,” he claimed. “It’s many people’s favorite book. I am proud to endorse and encourage you to purchase this Bible. We need to get America praying again.”

The group that sells the Bibles has said it paid to license Mr. Trump’s name and image, allowing Mr. Trump to make money from the sales. The former president has a long history of marketing his name and image for various branded products.

In a lengthy Easter Sunday message, Trump went after those he considers his political and legal enemies.

“Happy Easter to everyone, including crooked and corrupt prosecutors and judges who are doing everything they can to interfere in the 2024 presidential election, and put me in jail, including the many people I completely and utterly despise for wanting America destroy. he wrote in an all-caps message.

While promoting his Bibles in the video message shared on Truth Social, Mr. Trump claimed that “religion and Christianity are the biggest things missing from this country, and I really believe we need to bring them back.”

Over the years, Mr. Trump has identified as a Presbyterian, but in a statement to the Religion News Service in 2020, Mr. Trump said: “Although I was confirmed in a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself a non-Presbyterian . -denominational Christian.”

He claimed at the time that his parents “taught me the importance of faith and prayer from an early age.”

“Melania and I have visited some amazing churches and met amazing faith leaders from all over the world. During the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19, I attended several virtual church services and I know millions of Americans did the same,” he added.

According to a study last year Republicans view Trump as more religious than both President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic who regularly attends Mass, and his former Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian who often quotes Scripture and who has named his book So help me God.

Trump is also seen as more of a “person of faith” than Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who came under scrutiny for his Mormon faith when he was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

In 2022, People magazine reported that a member of Trump’s inner circle said, “He’s no longer president, so he doesn’t have to go to church.”

Instead, he played golf and enjoyed the attention of adoring supporters, the magazine said.

In 2020, Christianity today noted, “Trump was not a regular churchgoer before he was elected president.” Four years earlier, a prominent evangelical supporter referred to Mr. Trump as a “baby Christian.”

Despite apparently only attending church on a semi-regular basis while president, Trump is once again using religion to drive his message to the conservative right.

The independent has contacted the Trump campaign for comment.

He recently started abandoning the bombastic showman routine toward the end of his rallies, taking a calmer tone for about 15 minutes. Supporters bow their heads and some close their eyes as Trump takes on the role of their preacher.

This final part of the meetings “evokes an evangelical altar call, the emotional tradition that concludes a number of Christian services in which attendees come forward to dedicate themselves to their Savior.” The New York Times noted on Monday.

“The great silent majority is rising like never before and under our leadership,” Trump usually says at the end of rallies, reading from a teleprompter. “We will pray to God for our strength and for our freedom. We will pray for God and we will pray with God. We are one movement, one people, one family and one glorious nation under God.”

Former First Lady Melania Trump confirmed in 2017 that she is Catholic after meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Mrs. Trump is only the second Catholic first lady, the first being Jackie Kennedy. Biden is only the second Catholic president – ​​the first was President John F. Kennedy.

Trump claimed in February that the left wants to “tear down crosses.”

Speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, Mr. Trump said: “Remember, every communist regime throughout history has tried to wipe out the churches, just as every fascist regime has tried to co-opt them and to check. .”

“And in America the radical left is trying to do both,” he claimed.

“They want to tear down crosses where they can and cover them with social justice flags,” Trump added. “But under the Trump administration, no one will touch the cross of Christ, I swear to you.”

Mr. Trump has come to endorse and embrace Christian nationalism — the belief among right-wing evangelicals that the founding fathers of the U.S. wanted it to be a Christian nation. Some think the Constitution is inspired by God and that the government should declare the US a Christian nation, promote Christian values ​​and stop enforcing the separation of church and state.

“The left is trying to shame Christians,” Trump said at the time. “They are trying to shame us. I am a very proud Christian.”

Trump’s Muslim ban on travel from a number of Muslim-majority countries drew criticism early in his administration. The then-president was also condemned for posing in front of a church with a Bible near the White House shortly after the street was cleared of racial justice protesters following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Donald Trump holds a Bible while visiting St. John's Church across from the White House after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020 in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump holds a Bible while visiting St. John’s Church across from the White House after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020 in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)

Many religious leaders are now firmly in Mr. Trump’s corner, especially after he handed them three conservative Supreme Court justices, leading to the decline of Roe v. Wade. But some religious leaders initially hesitated to support Mr. Trump, who has been divorced several times, made hush-money payments to suppress news of his affairs that now haunts him in court, and bragged about sexually assaulting women in a 2005 tape of the program. Access to Hollywood.

“When he came on the scene, people were skeptical,” Troy Miller, the president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, said in February. “But I think as they’ve learned more and listened to Donald Trump’s speech, the one thing I hear from people all the time … is that they really feel like Donald Trump understands them, and that’s the biggest connection that people make is: ‘This is a man in politics who understands us, who understands us, who doesn’t talk like he’s an elitist and talks down to us.'”

To some, Trump revealed his lack of religiosity in January 2016 when he spoke at Liberty University, a Christian university.

“Second Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole game. … Do you like that?’ Trump asked the audience, according to NPR. “Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

The verse, etched on buildings across campus, comes from “Second Corinthians,” not “Two,” like many noticed this at the time.

Eight years later, Trump calls himself “God,” former MSNBC host Chris Matthews said on the network Monday.

“Donald Trump says I am the shepherd. I am him. I am god. I think it’s amazing that he can talk like that. It is blasphemy,” he said.

“I don’t know if the Democrats have really thought through this campaign and what they are up against. This man calls himself God. If he can get away with that, then it really is a cult,” he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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