Is the National Day of Prayer excluding religions?

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Is The National Day Of Prayer Excluding Religions?

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer -- a day where people of all faiths can come together and pray for the country. But is the event really embracing all religions?

A National Day of Prayer has been observed in the U.S. since 1952, when it was established by Congress. But the National Day of Prayer Task Force is an evangelical Christian organization, whose website says the day stands "... to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer ... and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America's leaders and its families."

The organization has been accused of trying to hijack the National Day of Prayer, receiving government backing during the Bush administration. The prayer the organization put out for this year's day of prayer, both starts and ends with the mention of Jesus -- which some worry excludes Jewish and other religions.

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Is the National Day of Prayer excluding religions?
FCA prays for our school this morning on National Day of Prayer #thankyou http://t.co/bWrSPoy9pC
Ministering at National Day of Prayer Breakfast. #MtGileadFGIM hosted the event. God has given us authority in #RVA! http://t.co/VGUjT6M5xb
Join us as we observe National Day of Prayer at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel, services at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. http://t.co/CsA2HZDAi6
Great hanging out with these guys at the National Day of Prayer event in DC today! @ronniefloyd @jackngraham #NDOP http://t.co/0CY7TszTcn
A family that prays together, stays together! Mark your calendars National Day of Prayer is this Thursday! #Savelle http://t.co/lugHmwFWWq
Honored to be with our military during today's National Day of Prayer Celebration in Texas. #vets #txlege http://t.co/cOPZHeJOv7
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 file photo, Dharma Bohall, 13, raises her arms in prayer during the America for Jesus prayer rally on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Christian conservatives who blame "moral depravity" for everything from the recession to terrorism are converging on Philadelphia for a rally they hope will spark a religious revival as Election Day nears. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 26: Attendees pray during the opening session of the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 28: Strong safety Brandian Ross #29 of the Oakland Raiders looks up after saying a prayer in the end zone before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 28, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Chris Dinger, from Sun Prairie Wis., participates in the America for Jesus prayer rally, Friday Sept. 28, 2012, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Christian conservatives who blame “moral depravity” for everything from the recession to terrorism are converging on Philadelphia for a rally they hope will spark a religious revival as Election Day nears. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voting members, left to right, Orinda Hawkins-Brinkley, Diane Yeager. Marj Ellis and Steven Schnittke, along with other members of the ELCA, stop for a moment of prayer Friday morning Aug. 21, 2009 during their assembly at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis. More than 1,000 members debated and voted on whether to allow gay and lesbian clergy to serve while be in committed same-sex relationships. (AP Photo/Dawn VIllella)
Members of New York's Indian community attend the prayer service for victims of Mumbai attacks at the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Muslim militants attacked at least 10 targets in India's financial capital of Mumbai, killing over a hundred people on Wednesday.(AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)
Voting member Janet Metcalfe, of Inver Grove Heights, MInn., pauses for a moment of prayer along with more than 1,000 members of the Evangelical Lutheran Chruch of America (ELCA) on Wednesday Aug. 19, 2009 after a tornado warning was announced at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Members of the ELCA are meeting this week at the Minneapolis Convention Center to vote on the future of gay clergy and their leadership in the church. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella)
FONTANA, CA - MARCH 21: The pit crew of Brendan Gaughan (not pictured), driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, prays before the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Cardinal Roger Mahony conducts a special mass for Pope John Paul II at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Friday April 1, 2005, in Los Angeles. Pope John Paul II neared death on Friday as his health suddenly worsened, drawing anguished prayers from Catholics around the world. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
A participant in an interfaith prayer service places a stone representing a tool or weapon in a bowl at First Baptist Church in America on Thursday, May 13, 2004, in Providence, R.I. Ministers from several faiths gathered with citizens to pray about the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and the beheading of an American civilian. (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho)
Muhammad Nur Abdullah, left, addresses men at the afternoon prayer session at the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America, Friday, Aug. 29, 2003, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera)
President of the Islamic Society of North America, Muhammad Nur Abdullah, front left, leads Muslims in prayer during the first day of the 41st Annual ISNA Convention Friday, Sept. 3, 2004, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
People pray over a makeshift cross during a rally in front of City Hall in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 3, 2015 calling for peace following widespread riots. The riots stemmed from protests over the death of Freddie Gray, 25, who suffered a serious spinal injury while in the back of a police van on April 12. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 03: A man prays during a song at Kingdom Fellowship Cathedral two days after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray on May 3, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Maryland Gov., Larry Hogan called for a statewide ÒDay of Prayer and PeaceÓ on Sunday. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Protesters pray outside the Baltimore Police Central Booking and Intake Center for prisoners in Baltimore, Maryland on May 1, 2015. Six Baltimore police officers were charged Friday over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American whose spine was snapped in custody, in a surprise announcement after days of riots and protests in the US city. The charges -- ranging from second-degree murder and manslaughter to misconduct -- were set out by Maryland state prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, with all six officers taken into custody during the day. AFP PHOTO/ ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants in the March For Marriage pray outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J.RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 07: Christian ministers, clergy and lay leaders pray during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House April 7, 2015 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, President Barack Obama hosted the event to bring Christian religious leaders together at the White House to 'pray and reflect on Holy Week and Easter.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MARCH 31: U.S. Army generals bow their heads in prayer during the commencement ceremony for the Army's annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in the Pentagon Center Courtyard March 31, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. In conjunction with the national campaign against sexual assault, The Army announced this year's theme, 'Not in My Squad. Not in Our Army. We are Trusted Professionals,' during the ceremony.Ê According to the Pentagon, the initative 'is a grassroots approach meant to reinforce a climate of dignity and respect founded on good order and discipline.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
People pray during a service in a soccer field near the Islamic Association of Raleigh February 12, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Community members and loved ones gathered to mourn the murders of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha who were shot Tuesday afternoon. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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A writer for The Washington Post, who described herself as evangelical Christian, wrote she was "appalled by the evangelicalism expressed" in last year's National Day of Prayer.

"We can't call something 'Judeo Christian' and then exclude the Jewish friends who are present by praying to Jesus as the one who saves us," she wrote.

The advocacy group JewsOnFirst has been calling for an Inclusive National Day of Prayer for years. The organization argues that the current leadership group "excludes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics and even mainline Christians from participation in the events it coordinates around the country."

Do you think the National Day of Prayer is unnecessarily exclusive? Let us know in the comments.

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