Barack Obama is 'a Christian by choice'

Washington, Sept 29 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has said that he is "a Christian by choice".

Obama told a group of Albuquerque, N.M. residents Tuesday that his choice was a conscious decision after growing up in a family that didn't practice its religion.

"My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn't raise me in the Church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life I would want to lead," Fox News quoted Obama as saying.

"Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings-that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God," the President said.

"But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace. And so that's what I strive to do. That's what I pray to do every day. I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith," he added.

The comments followed recent controversies about his religion and the construction of a mosque and Islamic centre near Ground Zero and polls that found many Americans believe he is Muslim.

Despite clarifying that he is a Christian, Obama emphasized his appreciation for tolerance of all religious beliefs.

"I'm also somebody who deeply believes that part of the bedrock strength of this country is that it embraces people of many faiths and of no faith," he said.

"This is a country that is still predominantly Christian. But we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists and that their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own." (ANI)

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