Barack Obama and Religion
Although Barack Obama wasn’t raised in a church-going family, he says he has come to embrace Christianity in his adult life. His mother’s side of the family has been influenced through Methodists and Baptists and his father’s side through Islam, though he’s stated that his father was an atheist. While working in community service organizations, Obama was impacted by how black churches have provoked social change. About his Christian faith he said,
“I'm a Christian by choice. My family didn't—frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead—being my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me. I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God. But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do. That's what I pray to do every day. I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith.”
Obama was baptized in 1988 at the Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988 where he was a member for two decades. He resigned his membership there in 2009.
ABC News, September 29, 2010