"America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith. We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics," Obama said in a proclamation to declare January 16 as the Religious Freedom Day.

"Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric and reminds us that what bind us as one are not the tenets of our faiths, the colours of our skin, or the origins of our names. What makes us American is our adherence to shared ideals, freedom, equality, justice and our right as a people to set our own course," he said.

America proudly stands with people of every nation who seek to think, believe, and practice their faiths as they choose, he said.

"In the years to come, my administration will remain committed to promoting religious freedom, both at home and across the globe," Obama said.

He also urged every country to recognize religious freedom as both a universal right and a key to a stable, prosperous, and peaceful future.


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