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April 18, 2011

Obama Hosts Easter Prayer Breakfast

U.S. President Barack Obama hosted a prayer breakfast Tuesday marking the Christian celebration of Easter.

President Obama said the day, on which Christians believe Jesus Christ was resurrected, is a reminder to maintain "perspective" in the middle of critical national debates and busy lives.

The breakfast brought together Christian leaders from across the country. The event was the second Easter breakfast President Obama has held at the White House.  He says he wants to make it an annual tradition.

President Obama, who is Christian, said the gift of Christ's grace calls him to reflect, pray and ask God for forgiveness for the times he has fallen short in showing grace to others.

At the annual National Prayer Breakfast in February, the president said the challenges he has faced during the past two years, including the U.S. economic recession, have strengthened his religious faith.

Obama said in February his Christian faith has been a sustaining force, particularly as he and his wife, Michelle, have heard their faith being questioned.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama had to deny suggestions that he was Muslim. He also was forced to distance himself from his long-time pastor, whose controversial comments threatened to undermine his run for the presidency.