This article examines the evidence concerning the former U.S. President Barack Obama's religion.
Evidence in favor of Obama being a Muslim
Opinion polls taken in 2010 and 2012 showed that one in five Americans conclude that Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim. The following is a partial list of examples suggesting that Obama is a Muslim:
- Obama pursued a foreign policy toward the Arab world that was so pro-Muslim that only a Muslim commander-in-chief could have authorized it. President Obama even sent an unprecedented $1.7 billion in actual cash to Iran.
- Obama addressed the United Nations on September 25, 2012 to affirm support for freedom for religious worship. He said "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
- In a rare speech from the Oval Office, on Dec. 6, 2015 Obama devoted much of his 14-minute presentation to promoting Islam to the American people.
- Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset," and recited "with a first-class Arabic accent" the opening lines: Allah is Supreme! ... I witness that there is no god but Allah ...."
- Obama said that "John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith," in an interview with George Stephanopoulos. George Stephanopoulos—who had previously been a high-ranking Democrat in the Clinton Administration—then suggested that Obama change his answer to refer instead to "Christian faith."
- Obama declared in prepared remarks, "The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country - I know because I am one of them."
- He has said that "Islam can be compatible with the modern world."
- In early 2016, after issuing public statements praising Justice Antonin Scalia and the former First Lady Nancy Reagan, President Obama attended a memorial service at the Supreme Court for Scalia but did not attend the Christian funeral services for either. Islam is unique among belief systems in disfavoring entry into a church.
- When Obama recited the Gettysburg Address, he used a draft that omitted the words "under God," even though historical evidence is that Lincoln inserted and spoke those words.
- Obama's wife Michelle did not accompany him to Muslim nations because Sharia law would require her to wear a head covering as the wife of a Muslim man in a Muslim nation; on a presidential trip she was with him until France, but then returned home.
- From ages six to 10, Obama lived in the Islamic country of Indonesia, where he attended a Catholic school and later a public school. Fewer than 1% of Muslims convert to Christianity in areas with high concentrations of Muslims. Although Obama attended a Catholic school while in Indonesia, he was a part of the Muslim society there. But high Muslim retention rates are in areas with high concentrations of Muslims. In the United States, the retention rate for those raised a Muslim is 76%. In addition, Obama spent most of his childhood in multicultural Hawaii. Presently, Hawaii has 5,000 or so Muslims — less than 1 percent of the state's population.
- Obama's middle name (Hussein) references Husayn, who was the grandson of Muhammad. Only after Obama became politically ambitious did he declare himself to be a Christian, yet he never replaced his Muslim name "Hussein" with a Christian one as some do when they undergo a religious conversion. For example, when the Italian journalist Magdi Allam recently converted to Christianity, he took a new name: "Cristiano". When Saul became a Christian, he changed his name to "Paul"; when the famous boxer Cassius Clay converted to Islam, he took the Muslim name of Muhammad Ali. "It is common for those converting to a new religion to change their name on conversion" or adopt a Christian name at baptism. Obama also used his middle name when sworn in as President. However, even if he were actually a Muslim, he would not necessarily have to change his name according to Muslim tradition.
- Obama's unusual selection of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator most sympathetic to Muslim positions in the Middle East, to be Secretary of Defense despite intense objections by both political parties. Iranian State Press approves of the choice.
- Obama seems to emotionally hold a Muslim view about Israel, in contrast with Americans who have been educated as Obama has. Obama never visited Israel during his first term as president despite repeated criticisms of his failure to do so, he oddly waited many days before even mentioning the rocket attacks on Israel in late 2012, and he appears very uncomfortable even discussing issues related to Israel on television.
- Obama stated that the Autobiography of Malcolm X, which was co-written by Alex Haley, inspired him in his youth.
- It was reported in 2008 that in 1996 then-state Senator Obama hired several staffers belonging to the Nation of Islam.
- Obama raised nearly $1 million and campaigned for a Kenyan presidential candidate who had a written agreement with Muslim leaders promising to convert Kenya to an Islamic state that bans Christianity.
- Obama's claims of conversion to Christianity arose after he became politically ambitious, lacking a date of conversion or baptism.
- Obama required that a religiously affiliated college take the extraordinary action of concealing with wood the monogram "IHS", which represents the name of Jesus, during a speech by Obama there.
- In 2007, while Obama was a candidate, the White House military office assigned him the Secret Service code name "Renegade". "Renegade" conventionally describes someone who goes against normal conventions of behavior, but its first usage was to describe someone who has turned from their religion. It is a word derived from the Spanish renegado, which originally meant "Christian turned Muslim."
- In the book Obama,"Renegade" his friends say that "he actually really wasn't much of a churchgoer." 
- On the 2008 campaign trail, Obama was reading "The Post-American World" by Fareed Zakaria, which was a general discussion of US foreign policy that was on the non-fiction best-seller lists for weeks. Although Zakaria had Muslim ancestors, he is a non-Muslim educated at Yale with a Ph.D. from Harvard.
- Contrary to Christianity, the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya allows adherents to deny they are Muslim if it would be dangerous not to.
- Obama was thoroughly exposed to Christianity as an adult in Chicago prior to attending law school, yet no one at law school saw him display any interest in converting. Obama unabashedly explained how he became "churched" in a 2007 speech: "It's around that time [while working as an organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago] that some pastors I was working with came around and asked if I was a member of a church. 'If you're organizing churches,' they said, 'it might be helpful if you went to a church once in a while.' And I thought, 'I guess that makes sense.'"
- Obama is mentioned as helping to organize the 1995 Million Man March led by black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam.
- Obama visited "more than one mosque" in Kenya while on a political trip there but did not visit any churches, although there are a large proportion of churches and even a National Temple in Kenya.
- Obama enjoyed a bigger increase in voter support in 2008 (compared to 2004) by Muslims than by any other voting group, including blacks; "Muslim turnout in the U.S. elections reached 95 percent, the highest Muslim turnout in U.S. history."
- Obama rarely attends church or has church services in the White House. "President-elect Barack Hussein Obama has yet to attend [Sunday] church services since winning the White House earlier ..., a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors."
- In 2009, Justice John Roberts failed to administer the oath of office correctly while Obama placed his hand on a Bible. To avoid any claims that Obama was not the real President because of misstating the oath, Roberts dropped by the White House to re-administering the oath the next day, but no Bible was used for that private re-do of the oath. In 2013, the oath was administered properly while Obama's hand was on a Bible.
- At the G-20 summit in April 2009, Obama bowed deeply to Saudi King Abdullah, a Muslim who is also the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.  The White House denied it was a bow, and President Trump was put in a similar situation when the King presented him with a medal.
- In 2006, Obama gave an irreverent speech about using the Bible in public policy. It resembled a stand-up comedy act, with Obama making fun of the books of the Torah, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount and other key Biblical passages.
- In 2012, Obama participated in a $40,000 per plate fundraiser on Holy Thursday, which many devout Christians would find to be inappropriate.
- On September 25, 2012, in his address to United Nations General Assembly, Obama said that "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." This outrageous comment was predictably ignored by the lamestream media, but rightly highlighted by Conservative commentators.
- Obama's spiritual mentor of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright explained in an interview "that Barack Obama was steeped in Islam when he first met him,"  and said he “made it comfortable” for Obama to accept Christianity without having renounce his Islamic background.
- Obamacare has a provision enabling groups that have a religious objection to the individual mandate and who have forfeited the benefits of Social Security (such as the Amish) to claim a religious conscience opt-out of the individual mandate. Muslims would not be eligible for a religious exemption from the individual mandate, although other online commentators speculate that Muslims would be eligible for a religious exemption.
- Obama further impedes the Christian faith on gay rights, telling military chaplains a statutory provision that would allow military chaplains to opt-out of performing gay marriages is “unnecessary and ill-advised,” but he signed the bill into law anyway.
- On more than one occasion, Obama verbally attacks the economic livelihood of Las Vegas for unknown reasons, and Obama has also criticized state lotteries despite being heavily favored by most Democrats. The reason may be that gambling is forbidden in the Koran.
- Obama supports a military invasion of Syria.[Citation Needed] This would involve working with the insurgency, which includes Al'Qaeda. Al'Qaeda killed over 3,000 Americans on our own soil and was the main enemy in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush years.
Obama tries to downplay his Islamic background by claiming that his Kenyan Muslim birth father was a "confirmed atheist" before Obama was born, but in fact less than 1% of Kenyans are atheists, agnostics, or non-religious. He also described his Indonesian step-father Lolo Soetoro as following "a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths.". For most of his childhood, Obama was lived with his maternal grandparents who were Methodists. There is apparently no evidence of any Christian activities or local church participation by Obama while he was a student at Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991. Finally, Obama abruptly left his United Church of Christ congregation in Chicago in 2008, when it became politically controversial, without first finding another church to join. On April 7, 2009, Obama toured a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
Obama's Claims to be a Christian
- Main article: Counterexamples to Obama being a Muslim
While campaigning for president in 2008, the rumor led Obama to publicly state that he was Christian in an interview he gave to Christianity Today magazine. Obama asserted, "I am a Christian and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn't 'fall out in church' as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn't want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.
There is one thing that I want to mention that I think is important. Part of what we've been seeing during the course of this campaign is some scurrilous e-mails that have been sent out, denying my faith, talking about me being a Muslim, suggesting that I got sworn in at the U.S. Senate with a Qu'ran in my hand or that I don't pledge allegiance to the flag. I think it's really important for your readers to know that I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam. I am respectful of religion, but it's not my own. One of the things that's very important in this day and age is that we don't use religion as a political tool and certainly that we don't lie about religion as a way to score political points. I just thought it was important to get that in there to dispel rumors that have been over the Internet. We've done so repeatedly, but obviously, it's a political tactic of somebody to try to provide this misinformation."
Obama is a welcomed member of the United Church of Christ. In 2007, the UCC magazine quoted him as saying:
You come to church in the first place precisely because you are of this world, not apart from it, Obama wrote. You need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away because you are human and need an ally in this difficult journey. It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity UCC on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago one day and affirm my Christian faith.
The Obama family has attended several Protestant churches since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2009, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church. The Obamas also worship at Evergreen Chapel at Camp David.
Donald Trump, who later was elected U.S. President, investigated both the rumor that Obama was born outside the United States and that he was a Muslim. He concluded that the rumors were started by Obama's 2008 primary opponents and that they were false.
There are direct refutations of the claims made above by those seeking to spread the "Obama is a Muslim" rumor.
Public eating of pork and drinking of alcohol and smoking
Many Muslims drink beer, but there is a misconception that the Koran forbids it. In fact, only some alcoholic drinks are prohibited in Islam. (Koran 2:173; 2:219; 5:90-91; 6:118-119,121). The Koran forbids the eating of pork (Koran 2:173).
The first Muslim fatwas discouraging the use of tobacco dates from 1602, and Muslim leaders continue to discourage smoking for health reasons. Observant Muslims do not smoke, although smoking is increasing among young people in predominantly Muslim countries. Obama has smoked for most of his life, although he has tried to quit since becoming President.
Donations to Charity
Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, requires all Muslims to give at least 2.5% of their income to charity or other good causes. The publicly released Obama tax returns show that he and Mrs. Obama give an average of less than 1% of their income to charity.
People spread the rumor that candidate Obama was a Muslim to create a fear that he would advance a Muslim agenda as President. The fact that he went on to advocate same-sex marriage and homosexuals in the military shows that the fear was unfounded.
As in the Bible, the Koran has anti-homosexuality passages (Koran 7:80-81; 26:165) and so does the Hadith. Among Islamic scholars, there is a consensus that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful. There are Islamic countries that have anti-homosexuality laws, as do some states in the United States. So, President Obama's actions as President undercut the claim that he is a Muslim.
Praying five times a day
Devout Muslims pray five times a day facing Mecca. No Secret Service agents have reported that he prayed toward Mecca while in the White House or under their protection.
Obama and the month of Ramadan
Every year during the month of Ramadan devout Muslims fast from dawn until sundown and during this time they abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. No former Secret Service agents have reported that Obama observes Ramadan.
Pilgrimage to Mecca
Devote Muslims travel to Mecca on a religious pilgrimage. Only Muslims are allowed access to the holy sites in Mecca. Despite all of the power and access of the Presidency, Obama never attempted to travel to Mecca.
Obama, Muslims and dogs
Muslims commonly (though not all Muslims) have a very low opinion of dogs and consider them impure due to their interpretation of the Koran. For example, the International Business Times reported in 2014: "Owning a dog in Iran could result in 74 lashes under a new law passed by the Iranian government."  Obama's family owns a dog.
Other point-by-point rebuttals
Oval Office Address following San Bernadino attack
The first section of this article states, "from the Oval Office, on Dec. 6, 2015 Obama devoted much of his 14-minute presentation to promoting Islam to the American people." The purpose of the Oval Office address was to discuss an attack in San Bernadino that killed 14 Americans. Obama condemned the attack and explained what the government was doing to prevent future attacks. He called for preventing terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns and for an assault weapons ban. He asked for legislation for "stronger screening for those who come to America without a visa so that we can take a hard look at whether they’ve traveled to warzones." He did have a paragraph (which was very similar to President Trump's speech in May 2017) that said:
Here’s what else we cannot do. We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world -- including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology. Moreover, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are Muslim. If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate.
So, the claim is false and does not show President Obama to be a Muslim.
Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel and invading Syria
The first section of this article argues that because President Obama appointed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, Obama must be a Muslim. Hagel was confirmed by a 58–41 Senate vote. Two possible reasons why Hagel was nominated are that as a Republican, he would be easier to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate and that he was a veteran who later was active in Congress on defense issues.
The first section of this article argues that Obama must be a Muslim because "Obama supports a military invasion of Syria." In fact, the Obama administration negotiated a deal where Syria put their chemical weapons under Russian control, avoiding any need for an invasion. Obama did not want to invade Syria and worked to avoid it.
If Obama were a Muslim pushing a pro-Muslim agenda in the mid-east, there should be clear differences with the policies of his Christian successor, Donald Trump. However, it appears that their approach to the mid-east is similar. Both want to work with mid-east countries to eliminate the terrorist movements there and to bring stability to the region.
Liberal Christianity and liberalism
The first section of this article states without support, "Obama's background and outlook are Muslim, and fewer than 1% of Muslims convert to Christianity." In fact, during Obama's formative years, he was raised by his maternal grandparents, who were Methodist. He was never a Muslim, the percentage of Muslims who convert to Christianity is not relevant. Obama was raised with a liberal and Christian outlook, not a Muslim one.
For 20 years, Obama attended the United Church of Christ which taught liberation theology. His daughter was baptized in this church. Barack Obama left the congregation in Chicago and rarely attended any church while in D.C., out of concerns that security precautions would inconvenience the other worshipers. When the Obama family spent their weekends at Camp David in Maryland, they worshiped at the Evergreen Chapel.
Obama took the backup oath of office without a Bible
For the planned 2009 public ceremonial swearing-in Obama used a Bible. However, the Chief Justice misstated the oath and dropped by the White House to administer it a second time just to remove any questions. In 2013, "President Obama is putting a symbolic twist on a time-honored tradition, taking the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed not on a single Bible, but two -- one owned by Martin Luther King Jr. and one by Abraham Lincoln. " Contrary to fake news rumors, he did not use a Koran.
Absence at Scalia's and Nancy Reagan's funerals
The first section of this article claims that Obama did not attend the funeral services for Scalia and Nancy Reagan because as a Muslim, he does not like to enter churches. The first section did not say that President Obama was invited to attend the Scalia or Nancy Reagan funerals. President Obama did pay tribute to the legacy of Nancy Reagan in his weekly television address of March 12, 2016. Barack and Michelle Obama also issued an official statement of condolences. Mrs. Obama attended the funeral which was held under a tent at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and not in a church. Regarding Scalia, President Obama issued a proclamation that flags should be flown at half-staff. President Obama also issued a statement and attended a memorial service held at the Supreme Court, with Vice President Biden attending the official funeral the next day.
Obama's absence at the funerals of Antonin Scalia and Nancy Reagan might be explained by his busy schedule or by his desire not to disrupt the funerals with the added security that the Secret Service brings to any Presidential event. Also, to preserve the continuity of government, the President, Vice President, and the cabinet avoids attending the same public events to reduce creating terrorism targets. In any case, the kind words he said upon their passing is not evidence of President Obama being a Muslim.
To the extent that the first section of this article claims that President Obama was reluctant to enter churches, there are numerous counter-examples. While in Chicago, he was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years. As a community organizer, many of his meetings were held in churches. While President, he attended services at Shiloh Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church.
Attended other funerals
On August 28, 2009, Obama gave a eulogy at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston for Senator Edward Kennedy who was Catholic.
On September 30, 2016, Obama traveled to Israel and attended the funeral of former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres who was Jewish.
On December 10, 2013, President Obama traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to speak at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
On June 6, 2015, President Obama delivered the eulogy at the pulpit of the St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Delaware for Beau Biden.
Obama attended the funeral of Senator Daniel Inouye who was a United Methodist (Some United Methodists practice theological liberalism while others are religious conservatives). While the Scalia and Reagan funerals may not be a counter-example to the Muslim rumor, the Peres, Biden and Inouye funeral are.
When a racist shot up the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and killed eight people, President Obama traveled to Charleston to deliver the eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was among those killed.
President Obama traveled to Joplin, Missouri, to speak at a memorial service for those who died in a storm.
Views on Israel
The first section of this article makes the vague subjective claim that "Obama seems to emotionally hold a Muslim view about Israel." All of President Obama's public foreign policy statements were carefully vetted and delivered without emotion. President Obama visited Israel on March 20, 2013 and September 30, 2016.
The first section of this article claims Obama's "ring has Islamic inscriptions." The statement is sourced to World Net Daily, which did not actually examine the ring, but rather blurry enlargements of photos of the ring. It suggests that the pattern on the outside of the ring is in the form of Arabic symbols, rather than claiming there is an engraved message on the inside of the band. Snopes featured a clear, closeup of the ring and showed that the design is a series of loops and not Arabic symbols.
Muslim call to prayer
The first section of this article claims, "Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is 'one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset,' and recited 'with a first-class Arabic accent' the opening lines: Allah is Supreme! ... I witness that there is no god but Allah ...." citing a WND web posting that in turn referenced an Obama interview with New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof in 2007. Kristof wrote a column in 2008 making reference to it in terms of "Mr. Obama has spoken respectfully of Islam" but denied being a Muslim himself. Just because a person praises the sound of a religious practice does not mean that the person has accepted the content as his own personal religious belief. By analogy, a person can also recite a television advertising jingle from memory without wanting to ever buy the product.
Protecting freedom of religion
At times, the first section of this article had taken a quotation out of context from President Obama's September 25, 2012 address to the United Nations General Assembly. In the weeks prior to that speech, ISIL propagandists had released a video to create the impression that the United States was anti-Muslim. The video that was falsely attributed to the US government, drew widespread protests in the Arab world. Obama's address drew upon that tension to discuss the importance of the right of free exercise of religion worldwide. The end of the speech turned to the future with a series of statements each with "The future must not belong to..." which advocated religious tolerance.
Accepting Islams' role in the modern world
The first section of this article argues that Obama must be a Muslim because he once wrote, "Islam can be compatible with the modern world." There are pluralistic modern societies where Muslims live side-by-side with Christians. Indeed, given America's founding values have included religious freedom, modern American society is a successful example. Obama did not write Islam is always compatible with the modern world. Only radical Islamic terrorists believe that Islam cannot be compatible with the modern world because that world embodies Western Judeo-Christian values.
Did not attend church as a President-elect
The first section of this article quotes Politico as saying Obama did not attend church since the 2008 election. That article was correct, but it was published on November 23, 2008, just three weeks after the election. A second article is footnoted that states the Obamas did not attend church on Christmas 2008. Both articles explain that the Obamas did not want to disrupt local services with a large security detail and procedures. Because the Obamas later began to attend services at the Evergreen Chapel of Camp David, this does not prove that Obama is a Muslim.
Female genital mutilation
Some Muslims practice female genital mutilation, and the practice was widespread in Indonesia when Obama lived there. However, the Obama Administration took many actions against the practice, signing a 2013 law tightening the prohibition against FGM, and supported the United Nations' efforts against FGM. There is nothing to suggest that the Obama family practiced FGM.
Possible closet atheist/agnostic
There are several reasons to doubt that Obama is an atheist. Very few Africans or African Americans are atheists, for example, and even fewer still who were raised in multi-cultural Hawaii and Indonesia as was Obama. He has displayed none of the common characteristics of atheists, such as evolution syndrome, a "wannabe" desire to be accepted intellectually, belief in an Old Earth, obesity, or a lack of ambition. His favorite science fiction movies show no propensity towards atheism.
Liberal Christianity and religious syncretism and universalism
Obama is a liberal. Liberals often practice religious syncretism and are often universalists (or near universalists) who believe that there are many religious roads to heaven and few if any people go to Hell.
Obama isn't especially religious
Barack Obama isn't particularly religious. As noted above, he was the first president to host an atheist organization at the White House.
Obama is a narcissist who essentially often worships himself. His first campaign was rightly criticized for making Obama into some messiah-like figure.[Citation Needed] Atheists are known for being very arrogant (see: Atheism and arrogance). Obama is known for being arrogant (see: Barack Obama and liberal elitism). On the other hand, the traits of arrogance and narcissism are not exclusive to atheists.
Furthermore, Obama's lack of religiosity/devoutness is not surprising as this is frequently a characteristic of people who attend liberal Christianity type churches like Obama has done. Liberal churches are bleeding members profusely due to people's lack of commitment to the Christian faith.[Citation Needed]
Purported worldviews of parents and grandparents
Obama's birth father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr, was an ex-Muslim who became an Anglican at the young age of six years old. He later became an atheist. Barack Obama declared in a Time magazine article entitled "My spiritual journey": "My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was 2 years old; in any event, although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition."
Kenya is the home country of Barack Hussein Obama Sr., but Obama Sr. had virtually no influence on the raising of his son. Obama's mother remarried, and ultimately, Obama was raised by his maternal grandparents. In Barack Obama's memoir, Dreams From My Father, he describes his great-grandparents as "stern Methodist parents who did not believe in drinking, playing cards, or dancing.". Obama's stepfather was an atheist.
According to both Obama's father's sister and Obama, Obama's father became a Christian when he was six years old. Obama's father attended an Anglican missionary school according to Obama's father's sister, when he became a Christian.
Since colonial times and to this day, schools run by Christian missionaries in Africa have had a reputation of having the best schools in various areas of Africa and some Muslim parents send their children to these school in order to receive a better education. There have been Muslim children who attend these schools who have become Christians. As far as evidence that Obama Sr. received a strong education as a youth, Obama Sr. is a Harvard University graduate, and Harvard had a highly competitive admissions process.
As far as Kenya, a 2015 study estimates some 70,000 Christian believers from a Muslim background in the country, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.
In a Al Jazeera interview the prominent Muslim cleric Ahmad Al Qataani indicated the number of Muslims in Africa diminished greatly in the last century and that 6 million African Muslims were converting to Christianity every year.
The Muslim cleric Ahmad Al Qataani specifically declared:
|“|| Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa's main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non-Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was at the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000.
As to how that happened, well there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed 
John L. Allen, Jr., editor of the Catholic news website Crux, wrote:
|“||Africa is the zone of Christianity’s greatest growth. It is already the world’s most populous Christian continent, with slightly more Christians today than there are in North America, and the numbers are burgeoning. The Pew Forum projects that by 2050, sub-Saharan Africa will have 1.1 billion Christians, almost twice as much as its nearest rival for adherents, Islam.||”|
Many people, but certainly not all, follow the steps of their parents when it comes to their religious faith or their lack thereof. Admittedly though the retention rate for people raised on the atheist household is low in the United States (around 30%) so Obama's parents' atheism is not as big of a factor as many people might suppose (see: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals).
Liberal Christians and atheists sometimes work together on various public policy issues (see: Atheism and liberal Christianity alliances).
There is significant conflict between atheism and Islam and Islamic governments imprison/censure atheists and Islamic zealots kill atheists (see: Atheism vs. Islam). Muslims generally have a very low opinion of atheism. The Obama administration is the first administration to meet with an atheist group. It met with the Secular Coalition for America which is a coalition which represents the American Atheists, the American Humanist Association, and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.
Summary of argument that Obama is a closet atheist/agnostic
Given that Obama isn't particularly religious, his parents' irreligion and the toxicity of being an atheist in terms of electability to a political office in the United States (see: Views on atheists), there have been accusations that Obama is a closet atheist/closet agnostic.
Reaction of others
- See also: Debate:Is Obama a Muslim?
Many people believe that politics is the motive behind the attacks on President Obama's religious beliefs. By questioning Obama's stated Christian beliefs, a political opponent can call him an untrustworthy liar without being direct. Polling data suggests that if Obama's primary opponents could convince the public that he was a Muslim, it would hurt his electability. In a 2007 Gallup poll, 94 percent of Americans said they would vote for a black candidate for president and 88 percent for a woman. However, only 34 percent of respondents in a 2006 Los Angeles Times poll said they could vote for a Muslim for president.
A survey in March 2008 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that ten percent of American voters believed that then-Senator Barack Obama was Muslim. 16% of conservative Republicans, 16% of white evangelical Protestants and 19% of rural Americans believed Obama, who at the time was a Presidential candidate, was Muslim. In a later survey, in July 2008, the number had risen to 12% of American voters who thought Obama was a Muslim. Interestingly, 37% of those who thought he was Muslim intended to vote for him.
According to September 2015 survey data, 39% say he is Protestant, 29% say he is Muslim, 11% of people say Obama's not religious, 4% say he is Catholic, and 14% that they just don't know. Among college-educated people, 63% say he is Protestant. And of course, in the United States, where many people are religious (especially African Americans who are very commonly Obama supporters), Obama supporters are more likely to say he is religious.
So, it is not surprising that investigators hired by Donald Trump found that the rumors originated with President Obama's primary opponents.
- Little Voter Discomfort with Romney’s Mormon Religion. Pew Research Center (July 26, 2012). Retrieved on January 6, 2013. “Currently, 17% of registered voters say that Obama is Muslim”
- August 2010 Pew Research poll
- Obama Foreign Policy is a Pro-Muslim Disaster (August 8, 2014). Retrieved on June 3, 2014.
- "Remarks by the President to the UN General Assembly". Retrieved on June 2, 2017.
- Christina Bellantoni, "Obama’s verbal slip fuels his critics", Washington Times
- REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA TO THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT (April 6, 2009). Retrieved on January 8, 2013.
- Barack Obama's Christian Journey | Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008
- disfavors or even prohibits entering churches.  However, "[s]ome Muslim legal scholars assert that attending the funeral of a non-Muslim friend or relative can be wholly consistent with Islamic principles." 
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/11/why-president-obama-didnt-say-under-god-while-reading-gettysburg-address/355288/ - a liberal article providing an implausible excuse for Obama, as it commonly does
- http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/sina31103.htm. During the third and fourth grades, Obama learned about Islam for two hours each week in religion class, according to the LA Times. Campaign downplays his connection during boyhood in Indonesia, Baltimore Sun, March 16, 2007
- Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups. Christian Post
- Travel ban challenge puts Hawaii’s few Muslims in spotlight
- A Brief History of The Fourteen Infallibles. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. 2004.
- al-Qarashi, Baqir Shareef (2007). The life of Imam Husain. Qum: Ansariyan Publications.
- Iran State TV Praises Obama’s ‘anti-Israel’ Hagel selection
- For example, Obama writes in his own autobiography, "Only Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me. The blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will. ... [E]ven as I imagine myself following Malcolm's call, one line in the book stayed with me. He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, thereby an act of violence, might somehow be expunged." https://youtu.be/yeDuOR6vkLM
- The nation of Islam activists on Obama camp payroll, WND, June 3, 2008
-  Text of the agreement, as three images: 
- In his book, Obama oddly claims to have been baptized without giving his age or date, and later gave a date that postdates his political ambition (1992); he is claimed to have joined the United Church of Christ in 1988.
- "'Renegade' Joins Race for White House", Washington Post, June 17, 2007. Retrieved on January 8, 2013.
- Wolffe: President Missed Rev. Wright’s Racist Rants Because 'He Wasn’t Much of a Churchgoer' NewsBusters.org, June 16, 2009
- Obama, ACORN, and the churches SperoNews, October 7, 2008
- Man's worst friend? By Dana Milbank, Washington Post, April 27, 2010.
- Obama Organized Farrakhan’s ‘Million Man March’, NowPublic.com, April 2, 2008
- Video of Obama bowing almost to King's waist
- "Trump mocked Obama for bowing to a Saudi king. And then he …", Washington Post, May 20, 2017. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- FOX News: Transcript: Obama address to U.N. General Assembly (September 25, 2012)
- FOX News: Media ignore Obama attack on ‘those who slander the Prophet of Islam’ (September 26, 2012)
- Obama Called Our Most "Toxic" President, New American, July 20th 2012
- Jeremiah Wright: I “Made It Comfortable” For Obama to Accept Christianity Without Having to Renounce Islam (Video Report), The Gateway Pundit, may 10, 2012
- 26 U.S.C. 5000A (d)(2)(A); 26 U.S.C. 1402(g)(1); "RM 10225.035 SSNs for the Amish and Mennonites (and Other Religious Exempt Communities)"
- Does your faith free you from forced Obamacare?
- Muslims Exempt from ObamaCare? FrontPage Magazine, Oct. 14, 2011
- Obama calls Conscience Clause for Military Chaplains “Ill-Advised”, Fox News, January 3, 2013
- Lawmakers upset over Obama's 2nd anti-Vegas remark, WashingtonPost, February 2, 2010
- Obama, Barack (2004) , Dreams from my father: a story of race and inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 1-4000-8277-3., p. 37.
- Q&A: Barack Obama. Christianity Today (January 2008). Retrieved on January 4, 2013.
- Barack Obama, candidate for President, is 'UCC' (February 8, 2007). Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast", February 2, 2012. Retrieved on May 30, 2017. “I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion. And from time to time, friends of mine, some of who are here today, friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes, will come by the Oval Office or they’ll call on the phone or they’ll send me an email, and we’ll pray together, and they’ll pray for me and my family, and for our country.”
- "Remarks by the President at National Prayer Breakfast", February 5, 2015. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "The Obamas Find a Church Home — Away from Home", Time Magazine, June 29, 2009. Retrieved on May 30, 2017.
- Parker, Ashley. "As the Obamas Celebrate Christmas, Rituals of Faith Become Less Visible", The New York Times, December 28, 2013. Retrieved on June 3, 2017. “Part of Mr. Obama’s decision to largely opt-out of religious services reflects a desire to avoid disruptions by his Secret Service detail and security requirements, echoing concerns of Ronald Reagan, who presidential historians say rarely went to church.”
- Gilgoff, Dan. "TIME Report, White House Reaction Raise More Questions About Obama's Church Hunt," U.S. News & World Report, June 30, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "First Lady: We Use Sundays For Naps If We're Not Going To Church," CBS DC, April 22, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Trump says Obama born in US, ‘period’ – after new ‘birther’ dust-up", Fox News, September 16, 2016. Retrieved on May 26, 2017.
- Why is spam so popular in Hawaii, Huffington Post
- "Larger Implications Of Obama’s Taste For Spam Uncovered", Jan 23, 2009. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America certifies the foods that Muslims are allowed to eat, and neither Hormel nor Spam is on the list. http://www.ifanca.org/Pages/Certified-Products.aspx
- "How tobacco firms try to undermine Muslim countries' smoking ban", The Bangladesh Observer, April 21, 2015. Retrieved on May 29, 2017.
- Five Pillars of Islam
- Why does Islam dislike dogs?, International Business Times
- "Obama: "I understand" American people aren't with me on Syria strike", CBS News, Sept. 11, 2103. Retrieved on May 30, 2017.
- Obama to use 2 Bibles when he takes the oath of office
- "WEEKLY ADDRESS: The Legacy of Nancy Reagan", March 12, 2016. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "Statement by the President and the First Lady", March 6, 2016. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "At Nancy Reagan’s Funeral, Honoring the Queen of a Republican Camelot", NY Times, March 11, 2016. Retrieved on June 1, 2017.
- "Presidential Proclamation: Death of Antonin Scalia", February 13, 2016. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "Remarks by the President on the Passing of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia", February 13, 2016. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "Funeral for Scalia Will Be Held Saturday", New York Times, Feb. 16, 2016. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "President Obama leads US political elite at Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral", The Guardian, Aug. 29, 2009. Retrieved on May 30, 2017.
- "Obama will travel to Israel for Shimon Peres's funeral", The Washington Post, September 28, 2016. Retrieved on September 29, 2016.
- "Remarks by President Obama at Memorial Service for Former South African President Nelson Mandela", December 10, 2013. Retrieved on May 30, 2017. “Mandela led ...so men and women could stand up for their God-given dignity.”
- "'A man of character': Obama delivers emotional eulogy for Beau Biden", June 6, 2015. Retrieved on June 1, 2017.
- Daniel Inouye on Principles & Values
- Remarks by the President in Eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney (June 26, 2015). Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "Remarks by the President at a Memorial Service in Joplin, Missouri", May 29, 2011. Retrieved on May 28, 2017.
- "Obama’s Wedding Ring", October 8, 2014. Retrieved on May 30, 2017.
- Obama: Man of the World. New York Times (March 6, 2007). Retrieved on May 30, 2017.
- "Obama and the Bigots", New York Times, March 9, 2008. Retrieved on May 30, 2017.
- Krauthammer: Obama 'narcissist', Politico
- Jacobs (2011), p. 26: Her brother Baraka, as she [Hawa Auma] recalls, converted to Christianity when he was about six years old and changed his name to the more Christian-sounding Barack because the Christian missionaries at the early schools that he attended insisted that he do so.
- Jacobs (2011), p. 26: Her brother Baraka [Obama Sr.], as she [Hawa Auma] recalls, converted to Christianity when he was about six years old and changed his name to the more Christian-sounding Barack because the Christian missionaries at the early schools that he attended insisted that he do so.
- Muslim World League website article
- Kenyan Muslims can wear hijab at Christian schools - court, BBC
- Johnstone, Patrick; Miller, Duane (2015). "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census". IJRR. 11: 14
- In Africa Alone Everyday, 16,000 Muslims Leave Islam
- Africa: Christianity's greatest growth, and greatest threat by John L. Allen, Jr., Crux
- Atheists meet with White House officials, USA Today
- Barack Obama: Closeted Non-Believer?, Huffington Post
- Bill Maher on Obama: ‘He’s a drop-dead atheist’, Washington Times
- USA Today, Poll: 1 in 10 think Obama is Muslim, Posted 4/1/2008, by Daniel Burke, Religion News Service, retrieved 10/16/2008.
- Pew Research Center, 12% - Still Think Obama is Muslim, retrieved 10/16/08 
- Misperceptions persist about Obama's faith, but aren't so widespread, CNN