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President Obama Hosts Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House

Summary: 
In the East Room of the White House, President Obama hosts an annual prayer breakfast to mark the beginning of Holy Week.

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This morning, President Obama welcomed religious leaders to the White House for the fifth-annual Easter prayer breakfast, marking the beginning of Holy Week.

At the start of his remarks, the President took a moment to reflect on yesterday's tragic shootings at two Jewish facilities — a community center and a retirement home — in Kansas. As he said today, "nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."

As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims; we've got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society. And we have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and to violence, because we're all children of God.

"This Easter Week ... we recognize that there's a lot of pain, and a lot of sin, and a lot of tragedy in this world," the President said. "But we're also overwhelmed by the grace of an awesome God. We're reminded how He loves us so deeply that He gave his only begotten son, so that we might live through Him."

The President added that more than 2,000 years after Christ walked the earth, His life continues to inspire us. "We are drawn to His timeless teachings," he said, "challenged to be worthy of His sacrifice, to emulate as best we can His eternal example to love one another just as He loves us." 

Read the President’s full remarks from today's prayer breakfast.

President Barack Obama bows his head as Pastor Joel Hunter gives the opening prayer during the Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House, April 14, 2014.

President Barack Obama bows his head as Pastor Joel Hunter gives the opening prayer during the Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House, April 14, 2014. Sitting with President Obama is Dr. Otis Moss. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


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