Obama says he is praying for persecuted Christians at Christmas

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President Obama speaks to Christian leaders on April 7, 2015 at the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

President Obama speaks to Christian leaders on April 7, 2015 at the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

HONOLULU (Reuters) President Barack Obama said on Wednesday (Dec. 23) that he and his wife Michelle are praying for persecuted Christians as the world prepares to celebrate Christmas.

Obama noted that the Islamic State’s occupation of some areas will mean Christians there will have to keep their beliefs and celebrations quiet.

“In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

“This silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL,” he said, referring to the acronym used for the Islamic State which controls territories in Syria and Iraq.

Obama has been criticized by Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail for being too soft on refugees who are fleeing the Islamic State, the majority of whom are Muslim.

Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz has proposed allowing only Christian refugees into the United States, a suggestion the White House has derided.

Cruz has argued that Christian refugees do not threaten U.S. national security in the same way the Muslims do.

As the Obamas prepare to celebrate Christmas on Friday in Hawaii, the president said in the statement that he and his wife Michelle are “ever-mindful” that “many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right” to celebrate openly.

Obama said they “hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution.”

He quoted a Christmas carol: “The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

(Reporting by Julia Edwards)

  • Mike

    When donkeys fly.

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  • alison

    I am glad he is praying but he does realized, doesn’t he, that he’s responsible for a lot of the persecuted Christians.

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  • Holly Hirchert

    President Obama is not and has never been a Muslim. Even so, Allah is the Arabic name for God just like the Jewish names Yahweh, Adonai, El Shaddai, and Elohim.

  • Jethro

    You’re kidding, right?

  • Allen H

    Funny, when as a child little Barry attended a Muslim school in Indonesian where you can only attend if you are Muslim. What to make of that???

  • Anita

    Allah is not the same God that Christians and Jews pra yo.

  • “..You are like a branch…Such branches shall be burned” – JESUS (John 15:6)

    If you KNOW how to be a decent person
    religion offers immoral alternatives.
    If you DON’T KNOW how to be decent person
    religion will not make you better.

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    I suppose Obama’s words fit the old proverb: :”Better late
    (very late) than never.”

  • skai

    Holly Hirchert .. ” President Obama is not and has never been a Muslim ” Oh Boy . Is there any wonder obama got elected not once but twice because ignorant people like you didn’t know the religion of the man you were electing and his agenda ?

  • skai

    Holly Hirchert ” Allah is the Arabic name for God just like the Jewish names Yahweh ….” Wrong.. This is from Quran ” Allah will not forgive those who associate other Gods with Him, but He will forgive whom He will for other sins .He that associate other Gods with Him is guilty of a heinous Sin ..” So stop your BS

  • skai

    Can some one please tell me where did obama and michelle go to pray , in the mosque or a Church? Can you all please google or do a search for the Arabic word ”al-taqiyya” =lie=deception by muslims to infidels [ derogatory name use by muslims for us non muslims]

  • skai

    Just see http://jeffjenkinsocala.blogspot.com/2009/09/takiyya.html This will help you to understand the meaning of ”al-taqiyya ”

  • skai

    Holly Hirchert . Please go to YouTube and type ” Obama admits he is a Muslim” in search box and hear from horse’s mouth . I do pity people like you, there are millions like you in USA, Shame .

  • Jack

    Interesting how President Obama again portrays himself as an innocent but helpless bystander unable to influence the course of events.

    In fact, he could relieve at least ISIS persecution of Christians today if he had the will to do so and were his mind not chained to the far-left narrative that America’s footprint in the world is a detriment to world harmony and peace. Moreover, it was his precipitous withdrawal from Iraq that created the power vacuum into which ISIS moved, exacerbating the suffering of Christians.

  • Larry

    Rule of thumb, youtube videos are not proof of anything other than the lack of editorial discretion of the website. If you have to rely on one for your proof, nobody has any compelling reason to believe you.

  • Larry

    Conservatives aren’t interested in doing anything in Syria unless they can create some political advantage out of it. They don’t even want to provide aid to those fleeing the hellish conditions of the civil war.

    We could relieve persecution by ISIS if we weren’t hamstrung by:
    -Turkish interference with providing aid to the Kurds, the only force who has been effective in keeping ISIS at bay and protecting at risk ethnic groups
    -Were willing to partition Iraq (which probably should have happened under Bush the Lesser)
    -Were willing to have “boots on the ground” for the next decade or so.
    -Russia bombing our allies and indiscriminately killing civilians in their effort to prop up Assad.

    Btw ISIS can be laid precisely at the door of America. Without the US invasion of Iraq, and our attempts to keep Iraq a united nation, ISIS would not have the power vacuum to fill or have been so well armed.

  • Fran

    Allah is definitely not Yahweh or Jehovah, the God of Abraham and of Jesus, his son. Jehovah is Almighty God, perfect in love, justice, righteousness, wisdom, power, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

  • Larry

    Because you asked him? 🙂