News / USA

US President Attends Inaugural Prayer Service

Obama Attends Interfaith Inaugural Prayer Servicei
X
January 23, 2013 12:40 AM
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attended a prayer service at Washington’s National Cathedral on Tuesday, a tradition the day after inauguration. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that, while the service had a distinctly interfaith flavor, few Christian conservatives attended.

Obama Attends Interfaith Inaugural Prayer Service

— President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attended a prayer service at Washington’s National Cathedral on Tuesday, a tradition the day after inauguration. While the service had a distinctly interfaith flavor, few Christian conservatives attended.

There was a performance by an African American gospel choir.

And a muezzin's call to prayer.

The president sat quietly in the front row as the service featured a diversity of religions.

Episcopal Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori offered a prayer. "Make us who come from many nations, with many different languages, a united people," she said.

But outside the historic cathedral still being repaired from the 2011 earthquake, the message of harmony was not felt.

Kristan Hawkins and fellow activists marked the fortieth anniversary of a Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion. "Forty years of walking in the darkness, we cannot be silent today. It doesn't matter what's going on today," Hawkins said.

A prayer breakfast Monday drew a large crowd of conservative Christians. Many of the people at the breakfast did not vote for Barack Obama, and they most certainly disagree with his policies. But they believe that prayer gives them a second chance to influence this presidency.

"There are three things that are really very major. Number one is life, number two is Israel, and number three is judges," said Anne Boccanfuso. She believes the president is pro-abortion and anti-Israel. And she worries about who he might appoint to the Supreme Court because she believes he doesn't share her faith. “He is not a Christian. I believe that he is not a Christian,” she said.

Others do believe it.

But while diversity was also on display at the breakfast, the prayers were aimed at giving conservatives the faith to stand up to what they expect will be a liberal agenda in the president's second term.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid