News / USA

Obama Promotes Helping Needy

President Barack Obama speaks during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 5, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 5, 2013.
In remarks to Christian leaders gathered at the White House for an annual Easter prayer breakfast, President Barack Obama spoke about the importance of helping the needy.

The prayer breakfast drew some 150 pastors and Christian leaders from across the country for what the White House calls "a time of prayer [and] reflection."

Obama has hosted the event since 2010.  He has used it, and a separate larger National Prayer Breakfast each year, to reflect on the importance for him of religious faith and humility in grappling with the nation's problems.

This year, he recalled his recent trip to the Middle East and visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus.

He said he prayed and reflected there about the life of Jesus and lessons of his teachings, and how they can be applied to daily life.
 
"I thought of all who would travel to this place for centuries to come, and the lives they might know and I was reminded that while our time on Earth is fleeting, he is eternal, his life, his lessons, live on in our hearts, and most importantly in our actions, when we tend to the sick, when we console those in pain, when we sacrifice for those in need," said President Obama.

The message mirrors the essence of the approach Obama has taken in tackling the complicated and politically divisive challenges of the nation's debt and deficit challenges.

In negotiations with opposition Republicans, Obama  has insisted on maintaining programs for the poor and the middle class, though he says reforms are needed to strengthen such programs.

Vice President Joe Biden called looking out for the disadvantaged in society one of the major principles of the Obama administration.

"We all know that we are connected by much more than divides us, though the focus is always on what divides us," said Vice President  Biden. "As we move forward as a nation I do believe we are going to be judged on how we answer that call, that call of moral responsibility of whether we stand up for those who have the least among us, whether we act on their behalf."

President Obama drew some laughter Friday when reflecting on his visit to the Church of the Nativity.  

He said it was useful to see how "managing different sections of the church and different clergy "feels familiar" - a reference to the difficulties of dealing with a sharply divided Congress in pushing his agenda forward.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dwight from: dc
April 05, 2013 1:59 PM
i'm tired of the liberal media protecting obama. god forbid we constantly read fawning stories about republican leaders

In Response

by: Shelli from: Portland
April 07, 2013 11:21 PM
Remember how Mom always said, "if you can't say something nice - don't say anything at all?" Perhaps if republicans did something other than vilify the poor, minorities, women...or worked for someone who made less than $1m per year, people would say something nice about them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid