Non-Christian religious groups are claiming that the National Day of Prayer, first declared by a joint Congressional resolution and signed by President Harry Truman in 1952, has been “hijacked” by evangelicals who are excluding non-evangelical and non-Christian groups from their observances of the day.
Christian Science Monitor: How inclusive is the National Day of Prayer?
The National Day of Prayer Task Force has responded to their critics with the following statement on their website:
The National Day of Prayer Task Force was a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values. People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based.