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Obama is a Christian, clarifies White House

August 20, 2010 09:36 IST

The White House on Thursday insisted that United States President Barack Obama is a Christian and his faith is not a topic of conversation, a day after a poll showed that nearly 18 per cent of Americans think he is a Muslim.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said most Americans care more about the economy and the country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 'they are not reading a lot of news about what religion the president is.'

"The president is obviously a Christian. He prays every day. He communicates with his religious adviser every single day. There is a group of pastors that he takes counsel from on a regular basis," Burton said.

"And his faith is very important to him, but it's not something that is a topic of conversation every single day," he added.

Burton was responding to questions on the Pew Research Center poll which showed one-third of Americans or 18 per cent think Obama is Muslim.

That current rating was up from 11 per cent in March who said Obama was a Muslim. The survey also showed that just 34 per cent said Obama is Christian, down from 48 per cent who said so last year.

The largest share of people, 43 per cent, said they don't know his religion. "I just think people are focused on other issues and not paying all that much attention to exactly what the president does with his spirituality. But as you all know and have covered extensively, he is Christian and his faith is very important to him," Burton said.

The spokesman said Obama has spoken about his faith extensively in the past. "You can bet that he'll talk about his faith again. You could always play the "would-of, could-of, should-of," he said.

"But the president's top priority here is not making sure that Americans know what a devout Christian he is, it is making sure that we are getting the economy on track and we are creating jobs in this country," he said.

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