The head of the one billion-member Roman Catholic Church will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress later this year.
For the first time in history, a pope will come before both houses of Congress and give an address to the legislative body.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, released a statement Thursday about Pope Francis' visit to Washington, D.C. and the historic speech. more >>
Bill Donohue of The Catholic League has criticized President Barack Obama for his recent comments at the National Prayer Breakfast, where he used the Crusades as an example of people doing "terrible acts" in the name of Christ. Donohue, who called on Obama to apologize, argued that the Crusades were carried out against Islamic jihad.
"The president should apologize for his insulting comparison," Donohue said. "Obama's ignorance is astounding and his comparison is pernicious."
In his speech on Thursday, Obama talked about the dangers of religious extremism, referring, in part, to terror group ISIS, and said: "Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." more >>
President Barack Obama described at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday the "extraordinary letter" he recently received from pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen serving eight years in an Iranian prison for his faith. The American Center for Law and Justice urged Obama to keep his word and bring the pastor home to his family.
Obama reminded attendees at the Prayer Breakfast that in 2014 they prayed together for Abedini's release, and said his administration has been working hard on trying to get Iran to grant his freedom.
"And I was recently in Boise, Idaho, and had the opportunity to meet with pastor Abedini's beautiful wife and wonderful children and to convey to them that our country has not forgotten Brother Saeed, and that we are doing everything we can to bring him home," Obama said. more >>
President Obama called on people of faith to reject those who use religion to justify evil – and in doing so – reminded people about the terrible things done in the name of Jesus Christ.
Obama told a gathering Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast that we have seen "professions of faith used both as an instrument of great good but twisted in the name of evil."
"From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith – their faith – profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it," he said. He did not mention radical Islam or jihadists or Islamic extremists. He did, however, call ISIS a "brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism." more >>
WASHINGTON — A prominent evangelical leader who attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Thursday believes President Barack Obama's speech championing religious freedom needs to be put into practice by his administration to end religious intolerance in the United States and abroad.
Obama's speech to the crowd of 3,600 that included the Dalai Lama focused on religious freedom and the need to combat evil actions carried out by militants in the name of religion across the world.
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference who attended the prayer breakfast, told The Christian Post that he respects Obama's spiritual convictions, but nevertheless is a critic of the administration's actions that undermine religious freedom in the U.S. more >>
Editor's Note: The following is a transcript and video of a speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 2015.
Thank you. Well, good morning. Giving all praise and honor to God. It is wonderful to be back with you here. I want to thank our co-chairs, Bob and Roger. These two don't always agree in the Senate, but in coming together and uniting us all in prayer, they embody the spirit of our gathering today.
I also want to thank everybody who helped organize this breakfast. It's wonderful to see so many friends and faith leaders and dignitaries. And Michelle and I are truly honored to be joining you here today. more >>