This morning, the President, the First Lady, and the Vice President attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. The annual event brings together legislators, officials, and clergy from all faiths and political ideologies.
During his remarks, the President focused on the importance of freedom of religion – not only in America, but also around the world:
History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people, including the freedom of religion, are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful. Nations that do not uphold these rights sow the bitter seeds of instability and violence and extremism. So freedom of religion matters to our national security.
As I’ve said before, there are times when we work with governments that don’t always meet our highest standards, but they’re working with us on core interests such as the security of the American people. At the same time, we also deeply believe that it’s in our interest, even with our partners, sometimes with our friends, to stand up for universal human rights. So promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy. And I’m proud that no nation on Earth does more to stand up for the freedom of religion around the world than the United States of America.
Every President since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast since the initial event in 1953; this is President Obama’s sixth appearance. Watch his remarks from last year’s event here.