White House not alarmed over rising belief that Obama is Muslim
The White House on Thursday shrugged off a new opinion poll showing that a growing number of Americans - 18 per cent - believe that US President Barack Obama is a Muslim, dpa reported.
The Pew Research Centre on Wednesday found that just 34 per cent of Americans believed Obama is a Christian - his self-declared religious faith - while 43 per cent said they did not know Obama's religion and 18 per cent believed he was a Muslim.
The poll indicated growing doubts about Obama's faith more than one year into his presidency. A Pew poll in March 2009 found that 48 per cent believed Obama was Christian, while 34 per cent said they did not know and 11 per cent said he was Muslim.
Obama has often spoken of his religious journey. The child of a Muslim father who became an atheist and a non-religious mother, Obama became a Christian as an adult while working with disadvantaged residents in Chicago.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said most voters were more focused on their economic struggles and were "not reading a lot in the news about what religion the president is."
"The president is obviously a Christian. He prays every day," Burton told reporters as Obama headed into a 10-day family vacation. "His faith is very important to him, but it's not something that is a topic of conversation every single day."