There is no doubt about the fact that US presidents have to be religious. A recent survey by Pew Research showed that around half of Americans believe it is important for the president to share a religion with them.
So what religion is Donald Trump? Well, the Trump family’s religion has traditionally been Christian. Specifically, Trump is a member of the Presbyterian church. However, Trump doesn’t actually attend church regularly, though he does still consider himself a Presbyterian. Paula White, the pastor of an evangelical megachurch prayed at his inauguration.
Presbyterianism is a sect of Protestantism founded in Scotland in the 17th Century. Unlike other sects of Christianity, Presbyterian churches are run by a committee of elders. The main tenets of this sect of Christianity are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the idea that followers gain the ability to enter heaven through their faith with Christ.
What religion is Donald Trump’s family?
While the 45th President is himself a Christian, not all of his family are. Most notably, his daughter Ivanka Trump is Jewish. This is because her husband, Jared Kushner is an Orthodox Jew. It is exceedingly common for those who marry Jewish partners to convert to Judaism. Some consider this a central part of the Jewish faith. However it isn’t a strict rule in all cases.
In 2016, Ivanka claimed that her father was hugely supportive of her conversion. She described Donald Trump as having “tremendous respect” for the Jewish faith.
However, detractors argue that this was not borne out in the wake of the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. After that event, Trump refused to condemn his alt-right base describing the group which contains self-confessed neo-Nazis. Speaking after the death of a left-wing activist, Trump could only muster a condemnation of “a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent.”
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Aside from Ivanka Trump and her family, the rest of the Trumps share their father’s Presbyterian religion.
Whether Donald Trump’s ‘tremendous respect’ for the Jewish faith has anything to do with his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move sure to provoke fury from the predominantly-Muslim community of Palestine, remains to be seen.