02/04/2021 United States (International Christian Concern) – National leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. this morning for the annual National Prayer Breakfast, taking a moment to set aside partisanship and join together in prayer for the country. President Biden called for people to turn to faith in these times of division and delivered strong words for unity, a theme that he has made central in his presidency. The prayer breakfast did not fall short in bringing people together. Focused on humility and prayer, the breakfast is a tradition that celebrates one of the greatest foundational values of the United States – faith and freedom of religion.
In a time of polarization and deep divisions in terms of policy and politics, the advancement of religious freedom at home and abroad is one of the few issues that draws bipartisan support every time. Christians around the world face an ongoing battle against hate and discrimination simply because they have made a decision to live for Jesus. The reality is that the ongoing systemic and aggressive agenda to suppress Christians and other religious minorities in countries across the globe is a travesty that all political leaders around the US can stand against in one voice.
The prayer breakfast hosted a number of speakers, one of whom was Former American Ambassador to the U.N. Andrew Young. His message of Jesus spoke to the heart of a moment not just in our country, but around the world. That message was forgiveness. Jesus embodied that message in every shape and form of his life. While the scourge of persecution persists in countries around the world, somehow Jesus prevails in each country and in every moment.
As illustrated by the idea of forgiveness being raised up during the breakfast, the need for prayer has never been more apparent. The prayer breakfast has been a part of American political life for decades and continues to be a hallmark event every February that draws the nation together to strive together in unity and in prayer.
Although last year the event highlighted religious freedom and persecution around the world, the breakfast today did not touch on the topic. However, international religious freedom is a theme that should be highlighted in future prayer breakfast events, because it is important to remember those who cannot openly and freely pray without being attacked. Much of the world lives under strict, hateful, and bigoted authoritarian rule that will not allow certain faiths or faith at all in public life of their citizens. Therefore, it is the duty of American leaders to always fight for this vital freedom around the world.
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