Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
… words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America's public life. It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism.
This is what these people (often called secular progressives) believe, and evidently a number of Christians agree with that position. Subsequently, these Christians find more fault with their fellow believers—those of us who want to keep Christ in …
Category: Countries , News , North America , United States
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
A new survey from the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute has documented nearly 1,200 incidents of hostility against the Christian faith in the United States. The survey appears to confirm fears that Christians in America, especially those who choose to vocally and publicly support orthodox Christian views on topics such as abortion and gay marriage, can face severe hostility and discrimination. From members of the military forced to express their views on homosexual marriage and then ridiculed for opposing it to a college student being asked to remove or hide her cross during college orientation.
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
In yet another possible crackdown on the expression of Christianity in public, a small city in Florida has demanded that residents remove "God bless America" signs, saying they violated the cities temporary sign ordinance. Residents who refused to remove the signs from their yards faced a minimum fine of $25 per day. A group of residents are protesting the order and seeking an exemption for the signs, saying the city often allows exemptions to its code for other reasons.
Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Is religious freedom still important to American's? Does America care if others around the world are free to practice their beliefs without fear of harassment, arrest, imprisonment and even death? "It would be difficult to name a single country in the world over the past 15 years where [the State Department's] religious freedom policy has helped reduce religious persecution or increase religious freedom..." The quote, attributed to Thomas Farr, opens up this article to discuss just how little the U.S. has actually done to promote religious freedom around the world.
Thursday, July 11th, 2013
In this article a Texas pastor theorizes that the Supreme Court's recent decision on the Defense of Marriage Act will eventually lead to the persecution of Christian churches and business which refuse to endorse gay marriage. The idea is that persecution will come through prosecution, with any churches and businesses that refuse to provide all services risking lawsuits and possibly financial ruin. There are already multiple cases in the United States of businesses facing lawsuits for refusing to provide services to gay weddings, including a bakery in Oregon, a Florist in Washington State, and a photographer in New Mexico. The business owners argue that do so would violate their religious beliefs.
Monday, March 18th, 2013
The question of religious freedom in the United States is a hotly debated one. While many point out that Christians and other religious minorities have far greater freedoms in the U.S. than elsewhere many, including renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and author Eric Metaxas, see recent events as an indication that the rights of Christians to practice their faith freely in the U.S. is being curtailed. ICC agrees that secular ideas are increasingly becoming guiding principals behind government policy in the United States, leaving religious freedom as hardly more than an afterthought.
Friday, November 8th, 2013
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
The following article describes what could be one of the final efforts in Washington to halt provisions of the Obamacare health plan which, according to some, significantly violate religious freedom. Part of the new health care plan will require business owners, including Christian's, to provide for abortion-causing drugs in their employees health plans or face significant fines.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
The following opinion editorial by Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA) argues that the idea of “separation of church and state” developed by Thomas Jefferson has been turned on its head in today’s America. Rather than allowing for the free expression of faith in every area of society government is now increasing restrictions on practicing and living ones faith whenever it conflicts with current ideas of political correctness.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
The case of Cuban Pastor, Omar Gude Perez seems never ending. In prison for “trumped up charges” for over three years, he was released with the understanding that he would not be allowed to leave the country. His wife is coming to the US for an advocacy tour to plead for the government to allow him to leave. He claims is family is suffering from the persecution they experience there.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
In yet another legal blow to religious freedom in the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected hearing the case of the Christian Romeike family, paving the way for the German family to be deported. The Romeike family fled Germany several years ago in order to provide a Christian home-schooled education for their children. Thanks to a law established under Adolf Hitler, homeschooling is illegal in Germany and almost all German children must attend public school. The Obama administration has concluded that the Romeike's case does not amount to religious persecution and has fought to deport the family back to Germany, where the children may be taken into state custody and the parents my face severe fines.
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
An important piece of legislation that would create a position for a U.S special envoy on religious freedom issues in the Middle East and South Asia has stopped just short of passage in the Senate after being put on hold by two Senate offices. ICC has strongly supported the creation of the position, pointing out that religious freedom issues are far too low of a priority for U.S foreign policy and that the horrific conditions for religious minorities in the Middle East call for special attention. U.S influence in the region should be used to promote greater protections for the millions of Christians and other faith adherents facing violence and intimidation as a result of their religious identity.
Thursday, February 27th, 2014
For several years, ICC has monitored conditions for religious freedom in the United States. While American Christians today live with far more freedom than their brothers and sisters in the majority of the rest of the world, alarming developments, including a marked increase in hostility towards traditional Christian values, has many concerned that religious liberty is being eroded. Legal attacks have also increased. Senator Ted Cruz's (R-TX) father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, placed the majority of the responsibility on pastors in the U.S, who he said often fear losing their tax-exempt status too much to speak out on civic or political issues.
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
International Christian Concern (ICC) applaudes remarks made by U.S. president Barack Obama on the topic of international religious freedom and religious persecution. In his remarks, made in a speech at the annual national prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. earlier today, the president pledged to elevate religious freedom as a part of U.S. foreign policy and addressed specific cases of religious persecution.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
A Baptist Reverend in Cuba, named Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, has been placed under house arrest. This follows a day-long detention in which DNA and "scent samples" were forcibly taken from him during interrogation. The Cuban government has recently begun "cracking down" on those they view as political dissidents including Reverend Barroso and, earlier this month, Pastor Yordani Santí.
Friday, January 17th, 2014
The following opinion editorial takes a look at the underlying issues that, according to the author, are eroding the foundation upon which the United States as a nation is based. ICC regularly monitors incidents of anti-Christian discrimination in the U.S. and has reported a marked rise in hostility towards Christianity in the public sphere. What this means for the United States in the long-term is uncertain, but this author contends the results will be anything but good.
Sunday, December 15th, 2013
In an effort to protect religious organizations from facing legal discrimination for publicly opposing gay marriage, a new bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Lee of Utah. The bill would prevent the Internal Revenue Service from removing the tax exempt status of churches and other religious non-profit organizations that oppose gay marriage. Although churches have not yet faced this kind of discrimination in the United States, the rising trend of prosecuting groups or individuals who oppose gay marriage has alarmed conservative law makers.
Monday, November 18th, 2013
In yet another incident of serious intolerance towards Christianity within the U.S. military, two military chaplains were ordered not to recite the Bible or use the name of Jesus during a chaplain training program offered by Veteran's Affairs. The two chaplains have filed a lawsuit against the the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs after essentially being forced out of the training program. ICC has monitored increasing intolerance towards orthodox Christian beliefs across the United States and within the U.S military over the past several years.
Friday, November 15th, 2013
The American Humanist Association is threatening to take legal action against public schools which choose to participate in the Operations Christmas Child program sponsored by Samaritan's Purse, an organization founded by Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham. The secularist organization says for schools to participate in the overtly Christian program, which sends thousands of boxes of toys and other gifts to impoverished children for Christmas, is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The threat is part of a larger effort by anti-Christian organizations across the United States to eliminate every vestige of Christianity from public life in America.
Friday, October 25th, 2013
The Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) has released a statement in which it has expressed its disappointment over the continued discrimination and persecution of Christians in Pakistan. This legacy of persecution and discrimination is claimed to have even been displayed in the Pakistani Prime Minister's recent meeting with U.S. President Obama and his visit to the United States. The PCC claimed that Pakistani Christians were intentionally not invited to see Prime Minister Sharif speak at Pakistan's U.S. embassy and that the issue of Christian persecution was woefully ignored in the Prime Minister's high level meetings.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
The issue of religious intolerance and Christians persecution was publicly ignored in the highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Issues relating to the future relationship of the two nations, including drones and the future of Pakistan's neighbor Afghanistan, were discussed by the world leaders. Just one month before the meeting, over 130 Christians were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a church in Peshawar, Pakistan. This event only highlights the horrific conditions Christians and other religious minorities are exposed to in an increasingly intolerant Pakistan. Will the U.S. ever bring up the issue of religious intolerance in Pakistan or is the right to the freedom of religion limited to the U.S.'s borders?
Monday, October 14th, 2013
This article discusses the infringement of religious freedom as it occurs in America and encourages Christians to fight for religious freedom for all religions, as well as to argue in favor of religious views. “It is not sufficient for Christians to argue for religious freedom. They must, at the same time, make arguments in favor of the religious views they are trying to protect, because a majority may come to the conclusion that those views are so awful they do not deserve protection.”
Monday, October 14th, 2013
A teacher in California gave an assignment to middle school students to read a non-fiction book for 30 minutes each night. The students were to bring their books in each day to show the teacher. One Christian student brought his Bible and the teacher said the book didn’t count as non-fiction. When the student replied, “Honestly, I believe it is,” the teacher bullied the student in front of the class.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
ICC Note: In this eye-opening piece author Michael Brown details the double-standard applied by Facebook in its terms of service. Christian pages are routinely "liked" by other created pages with brazenly derogatory, anti-Christian names. This means that those who view Christian pages are also confronted with names like “Jesus F**king Christ. Slut Mary’s Bast*rd" appearing on the page. Facebook has refused to delete the pages, though it would be unthinkable for Facebook to allow such pages to exist if they were targeted at LGBT groups.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
The following opinion article by Michael McManus delves into the recent spate of attacks on Christians around the Middle East and suggests some options for countering the violence, from the appointment of a Special Envoy by the State Department to monitor religious minorities in the Middle East to the need for separation of "mosque and state" in order to combat politicized Islam.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Previously banned from writing about God in school assignment, the elementary school of the 10-year-old girl says the incident was a “regrettable misunderstanding.” The teacher has apparently “learned from the situation” and remains in productive conversation with the family. Issues of freedom of religion continue to crop up in America’s school system.
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
In the following opinion editorial the author considers the average American's ambivalence or simple ignorance about what is happening to Christians all over the world. The majority of American Christians, who are believed to number more than 200 million, seem to be unaware that Christians in nations such as Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, China, Vietnam and many more face the threat of prison, violence, and death for choosing to follow after Christ. The article challenges America's Christians to become more actively involved in making a difference for our "brothers and sisters" around the world facing persecution for their faith.
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
In this opinion editorial, Dr. Michael Youssef expresses his belief that slowly but surely religious liberty is being eradicated in the United States. According to Dr. Youssef recent court decisions involving gay marriage appear to be the primary challenge to the future of religious liberty in the U.S., especially for Christians.