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Obama speech voted top religion story of 2009


U. S. President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world last June was chosen as the top religion story of 2009 in a survey of journalists who cover the beat.

Obama extended a hand to the Islamic world in a speech in Cairo while quoting from the Qur'an, the Gospel of Matthew and the Talmud, the collection of Jewish law.

"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity," Obama said in the speech. "And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end."

The survey of more than 100 journalists was conducted by the Religion Newswriters Association. The No. 2 religion story was the government health-care overhaul and the role the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other faith groups played in the debate.

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