SCOTTISH church leaders have accused Donald Trump of the "blatant misuse" of the Bible "for political gain" over his church tear gas stunt.

The Republican leader — who has repeatedly appealed to Christians to secure support and made much of his Scottish heritage — held up a Bible in front of St John's Episcopal Church in US capital Washington after using tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the crowds amidst ongoing civil unrest about police brutality towards black citizens.

While this has been set off by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died while being arrested, the Black Lives Matter movement has been calling for justice for many others for several years.

The Episcopal Church has sought to distance itself from the event, describing the media call as "unauthorised".

It says members of the clergy were amongst those forced from the area immediately prior to the President's stunt and the Rt Rev Mariann Budde, Bishop of Washington, declared herself "outraged", stating: "He's done everything to divide us."

Now Scotland's clergy has written to the head of the Episcopal Church in the US to add its voice to that condemnation.

In a letter, the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which has around 27,000 members, call the situation "horrific", continuing: "We then witnessed the blatant misuse of both a church building and holy scripture in the pursuit of political gain — in circumstances where the President of the USA had only managed to stand in front of the church because his officers had cleared a pathway through peaceful protesters by the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.

"The message of the Church and the Bible is about love and equality and all sharing in the bounty of a generous God.

"Nothing we witnessed last night by the President represented that.

"May we thank you for your careful and loving words and for the determination of the Bishop of Washington and many others to call this out, to say 'not in the name of the Church or in the name of God'.

"We wish to offer you our prayers and whatever support we can in helping your people find a path towards freedom and equality for all, regardless of race."