Barack Obama's Faith Journey

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Indonesian Interlude

Barack Obama

At age six, Obama moved with his mother and her second husband, a Muslim whom Obama and his sister have described as not religious, to Indonesia. Obama lived there for four years until 1971. He occasionally accompanied his stepfather to prayers at the local mosque, though Obama’s sister has said the family attended the mosque only for “big communal events.”

Obama spent the second and third grades in Indonesia in a Catholic school and third and fourth grades in a public school, which Obama has called a “Muslim school.” Because Obama was registered as a Muslim there—other students were apparently registered as Christians or Buddhists—he attended two hours of Qur’anic study a week. Reputable news organizations have shown that the rumor that Obama attended a radical Islamic madrassa is false.

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