A city leader in southwest Iowa says he’s catching flack for attending a prayer event on this National Day of Prayer. In the face of persecution, Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan attended his 20th National Day of Prayer breakfast this morning.

“Prayer makes a difference to a lot of people,” Mayor Hanafan says, “and I think it says a lot about our values that we have here in the Midwest.” Hanafan says he was sent a grievance letter recently by several organizations about his attending the breakfasts.

“We make our own choices and if we want to have a prayer breakfast, it’s our choice to do that,” he says. “I don’t think there’s anybody within government who should control what we do.” More than 500 people attended the event at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

By Kristan Gray, KMA, Shenandoah