The Rev. Franklin Graham has apologized for questioning whether President Barack Obama is a Christian.
“I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama,” Graham said in a statement released late Tuesday, according to the Religious News Service.
“I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election — for his faith has nothing to do with my consideration of him as a candidate,” he added.
Graham's apology came after he was criticized by a number of black religious leaders for saying he did not know whether Obama is a Christian and suggesting that Islamic law considers him to be a Muslim.
Graham is the son of evangelist Billy Graham and the president of the charitable organization Samaritan's Purse.
Graham has said he opposes Obama's position on abortion and same-sex marriage.
A religious subgroup of the NAACP had accused Graham of "bearing false witness" and fomenting racial discord, Religion News Service reports.
"We can disagree about what it means to be a Christian engaged in politics, but Christians should not bear false witness," the NAACP statement said. "We are also concerned that Rev. Graham's comments can be used to encourage racism."
In an MSNBC interview, Graham was asked if he thought Obama was a Christian, and he responded, "I cannot answer that question for anybody." He went on to say that because Obama's father was a Muslim, "under Islamic law, the Muslim world sees Barack Obama as a Muslim."
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