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Obama Urges Unity at Prayer Breakfast

Associated Press

President Obama called for people of faith to “respect the right of every single American to practice their religion” at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast.

The president focused on bridging the gap among those who practice different faiths, and urged unity between Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions.

“For this is what each of us is called on to do. To seek our common humanity in each other,” he said during his address. “To make sure our politics and our public discourse reflect that same spirit of love and sound mind.”

Echoing St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy, the president then continued a recent theme of civility and tolerance in response to the anti-Muslim rhetoric from Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump.

“To assume the best in each other, not just the worst. And not just at the National Prayer Breakfast,” he said Thursday at his last appearance as president at the annual event. “To begin each of our works from the shared belief that all of us want what’s good and right for our country and our future,” he said. “We can draw such strength from the quiet moments of heroism around us every single day.”

Obama’s address comes just one day after he visited an American mosque for the first time, and a week after he became the first president to speak at the Israeli embassy.

At each visit, he promoted religious tolerance and freedom for all.

The National Prayer Breakfast has been an annual tradition for presidents since President Dwight Eisenhower joined a small prayer circle in 1953. It occurs in Washington, D.C. on the first Thursday of February.

Read more at USA Today.