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For Trump, belief in God means votes and money

WASHINGTON, United States — President Joe Biden may be a regular churchgoer, but his challenger Donald Trump, who rarely appears in church and spent Easter raging at opponents, is the only candidate comparing himself to Jesus Christ.

Biden is a lifelong Catholic who attends Mass most Sundays and has talked often about the importance of religious faith in his personal life. To mark Easter, he issued a proclamation on "the power of hope and the promise of Christ's Resurrection."

However, Trump -- who before entering politics reveled in his image as a playboy tycoon -- now talks loudest about God and, despite the obvious contradictions, reaps the political benefits.

The Republican's Easter message began with "HAPPY EASTER TO ALL."

The rest of the 168-word screed on the Truth Social app was rather less festive, tearing into what Trump called "CROOKED AND CORRUPT PROSECUTORS AND JUDGES" and the "MANY PEOPLE THAT I COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY DESPISE."

The United States, for Trump this Easter, was a "FAILING NATION."

Many of the 77 posts fired off by Trump that day attacked the court cases piling up around him as he seeks a return to the White House in November.

But the anger did not appear to put off Trump's Christian followers.

Trump reposted a news article titled, "The Crucifixion of Donald Trump" -- only the latest in a series of references made or disseminated by Trump in which he is compared to Christ.

Another laudatory article posted by Trump claimed the coming of a "Trumpian miracle."

Supporters replied to Trump's posts with memes portraying him as a holy, heroic figure.

"One of God's finest warriors," said one.

Twice-divorced, found liable for sexual abuse and facing four criminal cases, Trump makes for an unusual Christian standard bearer. Yet there's no doubting his sway among the politically important white evangelical voter block.

Almost half (49 percent) of Americans believe that religion's influence is declining in the United States and that this is a bad thing, according to a Pew Research survey published last month.

And for white evangelical Christians -- a conservative denomination that makes up about 14 percent of US voters -- it is crucial that religion