White House Insists Obama is a Christian

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The White House insists President Barack Obama is a "committed" Christian whose faith is an "important part of his daily life," despite growing opinion that he's a Muslim.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that more Americans believe the president is a Muslim.  Obama has repeatedly said he's Christian, yet only 34 percent of respondents in the recent poll agreed with him.

"He prays every day and he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling,"the White House said in a statement to CBN News Thursday.

"The president's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday," officials continued.  "The president's strong Christian faith is what guides him through challenges, but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve."

CBN News spoke with Regent University School of Government dean Charles Dunn about the disconnect between Americans and President Obama's faith.  Click play for his comments, following John Jessup's updated report.

The Pew poll results are significantly lower than an Oct. 2008 survey, which found 51 percent of Americans thought Obama was a Christian.

Also in the recent poll, 43 percent said they were unsure of the president's religious following.

Obama receives daily devotions on his Blackberry and even spoke of his faith at the National Prayer Breakfast.

He also signed proclamations for the National Day of Prayer twice, and hosted the first-ever White House Easter Prayer Breakfast for pastors, where he talked about his own view of Jesus, His death and resurrection.

"As Christians, we believe that redemption can be delivered, by faith in Jesus Christ," Obama said at the event.

Questions about Obam's faith trace back to the campaign trail, when online rumors of him being a Muslim first surfaced.

CBN News asked candidate Obama about those emails in 2008.

"People need to understand, I'm unequivocal, about this. I'm not and never have been of the Muslim faith," Obama said.

So why is this misconception growing more than two years later?

The Obama administration has made direct attempts to improve relations with Muslims around the world -- from the president's June 2009 speech at Cairo University where he quoted the Koran to his recent comments about the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

"I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," he said. "That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan."

The recent Pew Research poll was taken before the president made the remarks.

Public opinion could also be affected by the president not being seen in church often.

The Obamas have gone to church in Washington, D.C., only a handful of times, though the president has said they worship at Camp David when the family is there on Sundays.

The belief that Obama is a Muslim is higher among his political opponents. About 34 percent of conservative Republicans think the president follows Islam.

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John Jessup

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John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.