President Obama expressed his wishes during the Christmas season for persecuted Christians around the world, especially those in the Middle East who have experienced "brutal atrocities" at the hands of ISIS.
Obama said he and First Lady Michelle Obama are grateful for nations who respect all peoples’ right to practice their faiths freely.
“Michelle and I are also ever-mindful that many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right, and hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution,” he continued.
“In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL,” he said.
“We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations,” he added.
The First Family is celebrating the holidays in the president’s birthplace of Hawaii.