At prayer breakfast, Obama talks faith and foreign policy
President Barack Obama pressed for greater religious freedom in China and offered prayers for U.S. prisoners in North Korea and Iran on Thursday during remarks at an annual prayer breakfast that highlighted his Christian faith.
Obama, who attended the breakfast at a Washington hotel with his wife, Michelle, used the high profile event to renew calls for the release of two men held by U.S. adversaries in Asia and the Middle East.
“We pray for Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary who’s been held in North Korea for 15 months … His family wants him home. And the United States will continue to do everything in our power to secure his release,” Obama said.
“We pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini. He’s been held in Iran for more than 18 months, sentenced to eight years in prison on charges relating to his Christian beliefs.”
Obama said religious freedom, protected by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, was under threat around the world and he singled out China and Burma, also known as Myanmar, as countries that needed to do better on the issue.