Washington: A day after a poll
found that one in five Americans think US President Barack Obama is
a Muslim, the White House has asserted he is a Christian, who prays
“President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an
important part of his daily life,” White House Deputy Press
Secretary Bill Burton told reporters on board Air Force One on way
to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to
give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily
devotional that he uses each morning. The President’s Christian
faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or
the media is focused on everyday.”
“The President’s strong Christian faith is what guides him through
the challenges - a recovering economy, bringing troops home from
Iraq, putting healthcare and financial reform implementation in
place - but he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve,” Burton said.
Obama was born to a Kenyan father and an American mother and was
brought up by his maternal grandparents in Hawaii because his
father, who was also called Barack, left for Africa when Obama was
just two. He has said in his autobiography that his grandfather,
Hussein Onyango Obama, was a Muslim.
According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and
Public Life released Thursday, nearly one in five Americans believe
Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he
was Muslim last year.
While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the
number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded
significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.
The number of Americans who express uncertainly about the
president’s religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown,
including among Obama’s political base. For instance, fewer than
half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is
Christian according to the Pew poll.
(Arun Kumar can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)