Religious leaders, institutions and organizations around the world have sent congratulatory messages to President Barack Obama on his re-election and urging the president and Congress to work together to resolve pressing issues facing the nation and the world.
Here is a sampling of the statements and news reports of comments leaders made following the 2012 election:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times. May our national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people." Full text.
Roman Catholic Church
"We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom. We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone." Full text of Cardinal Timothy Dolan's letter to President Obama.
Vatican Information Service released a summary of the message sent by Pope Benedict XVI to President Obama:
“In his message the Holy Father expresses his best wishes to the president on his new mandate, and gives assurances of his prayers to God to help him carry out his serious responsibilities, both in his own country and within the international community. The Pope also speaks of his hope that the ideals of freedom and justice, which guided the founding fathers of the Unites States of America, may continue to shine out as the nation progresses.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
“When you were elected in 2008, you inspired the world with a call to take responsibility for the problems we face as global citizens. Since then, you have made earnest efforts to live up to that great hope and trust placed in you by the American public. I believe you have been re-elected now in recognition of that effort." Full text
Southern Baptist Convention
"As citizens of the United States, it's now time for us to put away our yard signs and buttons and (pray for) our president," SBC President Fred Luter told the Baptist Press. "Our nation is in trouble, and we need Believers to pray God's will be done in America. We need to understand it's only going to happen because the people of God start praying for revival in America."
Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC: “I call upon all elected leaders to seek to lead us in ways that will restore both moral and economic health in our nation. I call upon all Christians and other people of faith to heed the biblical admonition to pray for all those in authority and to communicate their concerns to their elected representatives." Full text
Organisation of Islamic CooperationComment on this story
The secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu reminded Obama of the president's speech at Cairo University in 2009 about "engaging with the outside world, in particular with the Muslim world," according to the OIC website. "Hence, Ihsanoglu hoped that the enthusiasm that was generated from the speech Obama delivered in Cairo will find greater resonance in his second term."
World Jewish Congress
"We believe that now is the time for our leadership on both sides of the aisle to unite as the United States faces so many challenges, including the economy, our national security, and the leadership role we play in the world." Full text.