Tag archives: Religious Liberty

A Welcome Move by the Supreme Court (yes, you read that right)

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 4, 2011

In good news for all who cherish religious liberty, the Supreme Court has decided to let stand a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Christian charity World Vision was within its legal rights to fire three employees who, after signing the ministry’s doctrinal statement, admitted to denying the Deity of Christ.

The importance of this ruling is obvious and profound: If an explicitly religious organization requires employees to sign a doctrinal statement, and they do so of their own free will, that organization has every right to terminate the employment of those who no longer subscribe to the beliefs articulated in the group’s own statement of faith. In the words of World Vision president Richard Stearns, “our Christian faith has been the foundation of your work since the organization was established in 1950, and our hiring policy is vital to the integrity of our mission to serve the poor as followers of Jesus Christ”.

World Vision’s principled stand was stated by its VP and Chief Legal Officer, Steve McFarland, who noted that WV would stop taking federal funds before employing anyone who could not, in good conscience, support its doctrinal positions.

Secularists don’t understand the integrated nature of all faith-based activities: In any ministry, a person who welcomes guests at a reception desk is representing Christ as surely as the ordained minister behind the pulpit. Sacred and secular are not, for Christians, distinct domains. Jesus claims Lordship over all of life, and ministries recognizing this know they cannot but weaken their missions and ministries if they hire those who disagree with their beliefs.

Iranian Pastor Continues to Face Death Unless He Denies Christ

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 4, 2011

In late June, FRC reported on the story of Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who has been sentenced to death because of his “apostasy” — he left Islam and has become a Christian and house church leader.

Now, according to Compass Direct news, Pastor Nadarkhani “awaits the outcome of a judicial investigation into his spiritual background to see if he will be executed or, if possible, forced to become a Muslim, according to Christian groups with ties in Iran.” Yet “even if the investigation releases him from the charge of apostasy, it is likely the charge of evangelizing Muslims will still carry a lengthy prison sentence, sources said.”

In other words, the Iranian judicial system is trying to manipulate the pastor into saying he was forced to convert to Christianity as a teenager. Here’s what the Iranian court said about his appeal to his death sentence: According to Part 2 of Article 265 of the Islamic Republic Criminal Law, this case was received by and must be returned to the state court of Gilan Section 11, and further investigated to prove that from puberty (15 years) to 19 he was not Muslim by his acquaintances, relatives, local elders, and Muslims he frequented. He must repent [of] his Christian faith if this is the case. No research has been done to prove this; if it can be proved that he was a practicing Muslim as an adult and has not repented, the execution will be carried out.

The death sentence was issued even though there “is no Iranian criminal statute requiring the execution of those who abandon Islam. In September 2008 members of the Iranian parliament began writing a law instituting the death penalty for men, and life imprisonment for women, who leave Islam.” Instead, according to Jason DeMars, president of a ministry that works with Iranian believers, “the judges who issued the ruling appear to be relying on at least one fatwa, or religious edict, written by the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and on edicts issued by Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, a current religious leader in Iran. The edicts are based upon Shiite interpretations of the Quran and Hadith, a written record of the sayings and actions of Muhammad.”

Thankfully, Christians around the world are praying for Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and for the hearts and minds of those making a decision about his fate (for example, see the Swedish Christian site World Today). We can be assured that the God Who knows the hairs of our heads is in control, even as we petition Him to strengthen this courageous brother in Christ and deliver him from his persecutors.

In addition to praying, call the Iranian Interest Section at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC at (202) 965-4990. You can also contact the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the United Nations: Email — iran@un.int; Phone — (212) 687-2020.

Marcia Walden’s Story: Losing My Job for My Christian Beliefs

by FRC Media Office

March 29, 2011

Marcia Walden, a licensed counselor in Georgia, explains why she was fired after referring a homosexual client to a colleague. Marcia referred the client to another colleague because offering counseling services would conflict with her Christian beliefs on homosexuality. Under ENDA legislation currently before Congress, Christian employers and employees across the nation would experience similar attacks on their Constitutional right to freedom of religion, speech and association.

For more on how you can protect the religious liberties of employers and employees, visit FightEnda.org.

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News: September 23, 2010

by Krystle Gabele

September 23, 2010

If you are interested in subscribing to The Social Conservative Review, click here.

**Read FRC Action Board Member Rick Santorum’s remarks at the University of St. Thomas, “A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square.”

Educational Freedom and Reform

Environmental Issues

Faith and Policy

Health Care

Homosexuals in the Military

Judiciary

Marriage and Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty

Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Cloning

Stem Cell Research

Other News for Social Conservatives

Social Conservative Review—June 24, 2010

by Krystle Gabele

June 24, 2010

Sign up for our newest publication: The Social Conservative Review.

The Social Conservative Review:

The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News

June 24, 2010

FRC has recently published a comprehensive study of President Obama’s efforts to repeal the historic ban on homosexuals in the Armed Forces. Written by respected military analyst Lt. Col. (ret) Robert Maginnis, “Mission Compromised: How the Obama Administration is Drafting the Military into the Culture War” is an important contribution to the debate over this critical issue.

After over 30 years in the Marine Corps, including service as the senior military attorney, I know the serious risks present if the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and law are repealed. I am compelled to speak out since those currently on active duty cannot voice their opinions. Robert Maginnis uses facts, the law, and a dose of military perspective to debunk the myths put forward by those seeking change from the current law. James C. Walker, Brig.Gen. U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

The free PDF of this compelling study can be downloaded here.

Educational Freedom and Reform

Environmental Issues

Faith and Policy

Health Care

Homosexuality in the Military

Judiciary

Marriage and Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty

Check out Persecution.com, one of the best websites regarding Christian persecution throughout the world.

Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Stem Cell Research

Other Articles of Note for Social Conservatives

Religious Persecution in India Should be on President’s Agenda

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 24, 2009

Official Washington is all atwitter about the state dinner to be given tonight to Indias Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. There have been newspaper articles filled with stories of guest lists, menus and the anecdotes of past dinner attendees.

India is a large nation, in geography and population. Its friendship with the United States benefits both countries, and all Americans should welcome its respected PM to our shores.

India is also a nation rife with problems that dwarf those in our own: Massive corruption that stultifies economic growth and robs the poor of needed resources; endemic poverty affecting tens of millions; a weak educational system, fraught with caste-system bias; nearly 300 million Dalits, or untouchables, viewed in Hindu theology as sub-human and treated with contempt by their own society. Sexual slavery and human trafficking also present profound and enduring challenges to all conscientious Indian political leaders.

Religious persecution in India is also on the rise. Such Web sites as Open Doors, Catholic Online and Voice of the Martyrs provide chilling descriptions of what happens to Christians who stand for their faith in areas where devout Hindu and Muslim activists are determined to squash Christian faith violently.

Consider just one example, this one detailed in the UKs Guardian newspaper:

We cannot now return to the village as the murderers would be on the streets with more hatred and anger for us.” So said a witness after testifying last month in a courtroom in Kandhamal district in India’s eastern state of Orissa, which was the scene last year of ferocious violence against Christians carried out by mobs incited by extremist Hindu nationalists. The case saw three men acquitted of hacking to death a non-Christian tribal leader who tried to stand up to the mobs, and burning to death an elderly widow. They were convicted for destroying evidence, but sent home on bail, pending appeal. (Orissas Forgotten Victims, November 23, 2009).

Family Research Council hopes that President Obama will raise the issue of anti-Christian persecution with Prime Minister Singh. To PM Singhs credit, he has made strong statements against anti-Christian violence, noting that Christianity is part of Indias national heritage (www.oikumen.org/gr/news, October 20, 2008) and condemned the anti-Christian assaults in the province of Orissa (www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, August 29, 2008).

But as events of recent days indicate, much more must be done. It is in Americas interest for us to press our friends to live to the principles of human dignity and religious liberty to which they are sworn. By doing so, we are standing true to our own principles, and standing with those suffering for owning the Name of Jesus.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

November 10, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 14, 2009

Here’s some interesting articles for your reading enjoyment this morning.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 7, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest for today.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 6, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest for your morning.

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