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Bush Urges Christians, Jews, Muslims to Work Together for More Peaceful World - 2004-02-05

President Bush told a national prayer breakfast that Christians, Jews, and Muslims must work together to build a more peaceful world.

In a time of danger in the fight against terrorism, Mr. Bush says Americans have found much to be thankful for, including the sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. military.

"We pray for the families of men and women killed or wounded in conflict, that in grief and trouble God may be their refuge and their strength," said president Bush. "We pray for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, that they may live in safety and in freedom."

Mr. Bush says U.S. troops in Iraq have shown the best of America by helping refurbish mosques, by treating clerics with deference, and by being mindful of Islamic holy days.

"Some of our troops are Muslims themselves because America welcomes people of every faith," he said. "Christians and Jews and Muslims have too often been divided by old suspicions. But we are called to act as what we are, the sons and daughters of Abraham. Our work in a troubled part of the world goes on, and what we have begun we will finish."

The annual prayer breakfast brings together members of Congress, business leaders, and foreign diplomats. The president says it is a chance to put partisan differences aside and reflect on the glory of God.

"When we come together every year, we leave aside the debates of the working day," he said. "We recognize our dependence on God and pray with one voice for his blessings on our country. We are in the capital of the most powerful nation on earth, yet we recognize the limits of all earthly power."

Following the Washington prayer breakfast, Mr. Bush left for South Carolina and a speech on homeland security at the Port of Charleston.