US President Barack Obama on Friday cited the humanitarian work done by the Sikh community as he spoke about the strength that comes from uniting all faiths against fear.
“When the Earth cleaves in Haiti, Christians, Sikhs, and other faith groups sent volunteers to distribute aid, tend to the wounded, rebuild homes for the homeless,” Obama said in his annual address to the national prayer breakfast in the presence of religious and global leaders here.
“Whether fighting global poverty or working to end the scourge of human trafficking, you are the leaders of what Pope Francis calls ‘this march of living hope’,” he said as he mentioned the work done by Sikhs during various natural disasters across the globe.
“When Ebola ravaged West Africa, Jewish, Christian, Muslim groups responded to the outbreak to save lives. As the news fanned the flames of fear, churches and mosques responded with a powerful rebuke, welcoming survivors into their pews,” Obama said.
When nine worshippers were murdered in a Charleston church basement, it was people of all faiths who came together to wrap a shattered community in love and understanding, he said. “When Syrian refugees seek the sanctuary of our shores, it’s the faithful from synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches who welcome them, the first to offer blankets and food and open their homes,” he said.
“Seeing God in others. We are driven to do this because we’re driven by the value that so many of our faiths teach us -– I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. As Christians, we do this compelled by the Gospel of Jesus — the command to love God, and love one another,” said the US President.
“And so, yes, like every person, there are times where I’m fearful. But my faith and, more importantly, the faith that I’ve seen in so many of you, the God I see in you, that makes me inevitably hopeful about our future. I have seen so many who know that God has not given us a spirit of fear. He has given us power, and love, and a sound mind,” he said.