President Obama Speaks on Religious Freedom and Foreign Policy at National Prayer Breakfast

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More than 3,000 leaders from the US and around the world put aside political disagreements for a few moments this week at the 62nd annual National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama spoke about the importance of religious liberty. Conservatives have criticized his administration’s record on religious freedom, but the president said he’s committed to defending it around the world:

President Obama: “Promoting religious freedom is a key objective of US foreign policy.”

The prayer breakfast usually has a Christian keynoter, but this year’s speaker was US Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, who is Hindu. He urged partnerships between the government and faith-based groups to help the poor:

Rajiv Shah: “This morning, I want to share an overarching purpose worthy of this room that has come together to follow the teachings of Jesus: Let us work together to end extreme poverty in our lifetime.”