A group of around 200 protesters gathered on Tuesday morning down the street from the shrine. Some of the protesters chanted "black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace," while a small group of the protesters prayed the rosary.
Eugene F. Rivers is director of the William J. Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies in Boston.
Rivers took a different view of the president's visit, telling CNA Tuesday that "Because the president's visit had been prearranged and was to focus on the one issue that has transcended partisanship in recent years, this was a very difficult situation."
"I don't see how a shrine or other house of worship can turn down a visit by anyone who wants to pay their respects or pray there - let alone the president. Those who call the president a sinner should remember that Jesus regularly caused scandal by eating and welcoming those who were seen as unpopular or inappropriate during his lifetime. I think Jesus welcomes anyone - including Trump."
According to a senior administration official, the executive order on international religious freedom Trump is scheduled to sign on Tuesday would continue his previous call for other countries "to end religious persecution." It would integrate this call into U.S. foreign policy.
On Monday evening, Trump had visited St. John's Episcopal Church adjacent to the White House, which every sitting U.S. president, beginning with James Madison, has attended.
Trump stood outside the church in front of cameras holding a Bible in one hand in an apparent photo-op. The church had suffered fire damage during protests on Sunday night.
At the time Trump stood outside the church, Washington, D.C. was entering a 7 p.m. curfew. Crowds had stood across from Lafayette Square behind the White House, protesting the death of George Floyd and police brutality.
According to the Washington Examiner, police dispersed crowds with tear gas and other non-lethal weapons on H Street behind the park and next to the church, but not one block over on Vermont Avenue where protests continued past curfew; the dispersal of the crowds was apparently done to make room for Trump's visit to St. John's rather than enforcing the city's curfew.