Darrell Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, shared how he became a follower of Jesus, telling the audience at the National Prayer Breakfast, which included President Obama and the Dalai Lama, "If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior … you are going to hell ... good guys go to hell."
"Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast is the biggest thing I've ever done, the most influential audience I've ever addressed and the most important speech I've ever given," the keynote speaker and hall-of-famer Waltrip said.
"I know I talk to millions of fans on TV every week. However, I'm not entirely comfortable speaking to this many people in person, but the Lord told me to do so," he added. "This was an honor beyond description and a moment I'll never forget. I love to share my testimony about what the Lord has done in my life, and doing it on my birthday made it that much more special." more >>
Leading Evangelist Franklin Graham took to Facebook on Thursday to respond to President Barack Obama's implication at the National Prayer Breakfast that ISIS' brutality abuse of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria is similar to that of Christian brutality over 1,000 years ago.
In a post on his public Facebook page, Graham, the son of world-renowned Evangelist Billy Graham and the current president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, argued that just because people have used Jesus' name for "evil" purposes in the past does not mean that Jesus actually called on his followers to do such horrible acts, like the Crusades.
"Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition," Graham wrote. "Mr. President — Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness." more >>
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 >>