President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence began the second day of the Trump presidency interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.
According to the Washington Post, Trump and Pence sat in the front row as more than two dozen faith leaders, from Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Mormon, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and Bahá’í traditions, offered prayers and readings interspersed with religious and patriotic hymns. Among the faith leaders was Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, in Sterling, Va., who offered a Muslim call to prayer. Magid drew flak for his participation in the prayer from fellow Muslims.
The lineup of faith was heavy on evangelicals, with more participating in this event compared to those of past presidents.
The Hill reported the service was in keeping with the uniting and uplifting inaugural events. And CNN reports that in his opening prayer, the Very Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith — Dean of Washington National Cathedral, made a point about the need for unity:
Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony.
Later, Trump sat quietly as a Muslim prayer echoed through the nave.
Presidential visits to the National Cathedral are a longstanding tradition that dates back to George Washington.