President Barack Obama—whose administration is being sued by multiple Catholic dioceses, universities, charities and family-owned businesses for violating their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion—told a group of Muslims dining at the White House on Friday that freedom of religion is "foremost" among the God-given rights of man and that he intends to defend it both within the United States and abroad.

"Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose," said Obama.

"It's enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution--the law of the land, always and forever," said Obama. "It beats in our heart--in the soul of the people who know that our liberty and our equality is endowed by our Creator."

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