Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has admitted that he doesn’t understand why so many Christians in America support President Donald Trump.
The Republican counted large numbers of fundamentalist believers among his supporters during the 2016 election campaign which saw him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But Archbishop Welby says he is “really genuinely” mystified as to why evangelical Christians swarmed to back Mr Trump.
And he said that while he would attend a state visit by the President, he was unlikely to do more than just shake hands.
Of the support for Mr Trump, the Archbishop said: “There’s two things going through my mind: do I say what I think, or do I say what I should say? And I’m going to say what I think.
“No, I don’t understand it. I really genuinely do not understand where that is coming from.”
Mr Trump had been due to attend the UK in February, but pulled out following a disagreement about the opening of the new US Embassy in London.
A three-day visit is potentially on the cards for October. It is likely to spark widescale protests against the President.
The Archbishop has confirmed he would attend the state dinner for Mr Trump and says he has met worse people in the course of his life.
“I spent years and years involved in conflict stuff around the world where I met people who had killed many, many people,” he said.
“But it would be unlikely that I would do more than shake hands with him.”
Archbishop Welby celebrates five years in office this month and has not been shy about voicing his opinions on matters of national and political importance.
They include making statements on Islam, refugees, ordination of female bishops, fuel, poverty, inequality, tax, general elections, high-interest lending, food banks, modern slavery, persecution of Christians, sexuality and same-sex marriage.