Muslim and Jewish faith groups in the United States were up in arms after Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain has expressed discomfort about a non-Christian in the White House. In an interview Senator McCain the 72-year-old Republican told Beliefnet, a multi-denominational Web site that covers religion and spirituality, that he preferred the next US president to be Christian. He said being a Christian is one of the main qualifications for the president of the United States. McCain, who was raised Episcopalian and attends a Baptist church, added that America is founded primarily on Christian principles. American Jewish groups were offended by McCain’s comments. Rabbi Perry Berkowitz, president of the American Jewish Heritage Organization, told said “America is not a Christian nation. It is a multiethnic, multifaith, and multicultural nation, and that is its glory.” The controversial comments by McCain made headlines and sparked criticism from faith groups. In a bid to play down his remarks McCain said he did not mean to downgrade other religions.