President Obama used Friday’s National Prayer Breakfast to call for the release of American faith leaders who are imprisoned abroad.
Obama said it is the responsibility of U.S. leaders to insist that other world leaders respect religious freedom. In that vein, he called for the release of Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary sentenced to hard labor in North Korea, and Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran.
“No society can truly succeed unless it guarantees the rights of all its people, including religious minorities,” Obama said.
Obama said religious freedom is a cornerstone of successful societies. He said that through interfaith dialogue and a stronger emphasis on protecting religious freedoms, many international conflicts could be resolved.
“Nations that uphold the rights of their people, including the freedom of religion, are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful,” Obama said.
Obama also credited faith with nurturing his personal success, and that of the nation.
“Religion strengthens America,” Obama said. “Brave men and women of faith have challenged our conscious and brought us closer to our ideals.”
This year’s prayer breakfast — the continuation of a tradition that dates back more than half a century — had considerably fewer fireworks than last year, when former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson used his remarks to rail against “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.”
SOURCE: Justin Sink