Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
In this excellent review, author and vice president of Liberty University Johnnie Moore explains why it is so important for President Obama to immediately nominate a candidate to fill the empty position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Lives do hang in the balance as the world, and especially areas of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, progressively grow hostile to members of minority religious communities.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
In yet another alarming legal precedent for religious freedom in the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined, without explanation, to hear the case of Elane Photography v. Willock. The case began after Elaine Huguenin politely declined a request to photograph a gay commitment ceremony in New Mexico based on her Christian beliefs. The State of New Mexico ruled that she had violated human rights legislation in the state and fined Elaine, essentially setting a precedent whereby Christian photographers in the United States will be forced to either photograph gay weddings or face steep penalties.
Saturday, April 5th, 2014
In what is perhaps a landmark ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that a New York City regulation banning religious worship services from taking place after-hours on public school property was constitutional. The ruling overturned a previous ruling against the ban by a U.S. district judge and is part of a twenty year battle over religious rights. The upholding of the ban in New York City sets a dangerous legal precedent for cities and other levels of government wanting to ban religious services from their facilities, even after-hours, in the United States.
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
The recent forced erasure of a scripture from the whiteboard of a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy drew nationwide attention to the state of religious liberty within the U.S. military. This article, published by Town Hall, provides an overview of multiple incidents of religious liberty violations over the past six years.
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
In yet another incident of possible discrimination against Christianity in the U.S. Air Force, a Bible has been removed from a display in the dining hall of Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The Bible was part of a traditional display that paid tribute to service members missing in action overseas and was allegedly removed after a dispute broke out over it's presence on the table. "The purpose of the Bible is to '[represent] the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God,' according to the Air Force Chiefs website."
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
The case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby was debated by the Supreme Court on Tuesday in Washington D.C. The case has garnered widespread attention as the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, a major retail chain in the United States, reject the provision of the new health care law that forced them to provide insurance to employees which covers abortion inducing drugs. Hobby Lobby owners say providing such coverage would clearly go against their deeply held religious beliefs, but under the current law failure to provide the insurance would result in hundreds of millions of dollars of fines every year for the company.
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
In the ongoing battle over the spiritual culture of the United States, atheists have stepped up attacks on public speakers, recently calling for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to delete a religious tweet. Governor Walker tweeted Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The Freedom From Religion Foundation, who issued the demand the tweet be removed, said the verse sounds "more like a threat, or the utterance of a theocratic dictator, than a duly elected servant." Who knew that tweeting scripture could be so controversial for a public official?
Monday, March 24th, 2014
Recent events at the premier military training school for the United States Air Force have started a heated debate over the school's policies towards the religious freedoms of students. While the school claims it is attempting to balance individual freedoms with policies that do not promote any one faith over another, an event planned by an atheist group in the school has received the support of the academy only days after a cadet was pressured to remove a Bible verse from the whiteboard outside of his room.
Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Chang, a Chinese Christian who fled to the United States to seek asylum for persecution, was imprisoned and beaten for not worshiping in a government controlled church. Once in the U.S., he faced immigration judge Barbara Nelson, who asked Chang to answer questions such as the year when the Apostle Paul converted to Christianity. Unable to answer, judge Nelson ruled that Chang could not prove he was a Christian and therefore did not deserve refugee status. Thankfully, this ruling was overturned by a court of appeals. Refugees of religious persecution often find it very challenging to be granted refugee status in the United States, allowing them to stay in the country permanently.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
A professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Mike Adams, has filed a suit against the university saying he has been routinely discriminated against for his publicized and Christian based views on social issues since his conversion to Christianity in 2000. Before his conversion, Dr. Adams was regularly awarded for his work and promoted. This reportedly ended after he converted to Christianity, and in 2011 a U.S. court of appeals ruled that their was sufficient evidence in Dr. Adams case to warrant a trial. The case is part of a wider anti-Christian culture that has permeated academia for decades.
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Air Force Academy personnel quickly erased a New Testament scripture from a cadets whiteboard after receiving a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Retired General Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council pointed out ""Once the academy allowed cadets to use these whiteboards for their personal use, censorship of religious commentary is unacceptable," Boykin told me. "Either the Air Force Academy is very confused about the Constitution of the United States or they don't really believe in the liberties that are provided by that document."
Monday, March 10th, 2014
Last week Annmarie Devany, a California resident, removed a roadside cross dedicated to the memory of her 19-year-old son Anthony after an atheist organization complained to local authorities that the cross was a violation of "separation of church and state." Since then replacement crosses have been placed on the roadside by residents protesting the decision. The incident has garnered national media attention and is only the latest in a long line of ongoing battles between Christian communities and atheist organizations seeking to remove all Christian symbolism from public life.
Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Across the United States, atheist groups are taking cases to the courts in an attempt to remove all references to Christianity from the public sphere of American life. Using a twisted and grossly over-extended interpretation of the "separation of church and state" clause in the 1st Amendment, these groups argue that even a cross pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center should not be allowed a place at the World Trade Center memorial funded in part by public funds. The cross was a source of hope and inspiration in the first few days after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Thursday, March 6th, 2014
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has signaled it will allow the Romeike family to stay in the U.S. only days after the Supreme Court rejected to hear their case for asylum. The family fled German several years ago when faced with legal challenges for attempting to home-school their children according to their Christian belief system. Home-schooling in Germany has been illegal since legislation created under the Nazi regime mandated that all German children attend public schools. The announcement by DHS comes as a relief to rights groups and the Romeike family, who faced heavy fines and the loss of their children if they were forced to return to Germany. The Obama administration had previously argued that their case did not qualify as one of religious persecution.
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.
Monday, February 17th, 2014
In a hearing last week, Elliot Abrams of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that the United States consider using targeted economic sanctions against nations who violate basic standards of international religious freedom. While the U.S. does report on violations of religious freedom around the world and does list certain nations as "Countries of Particular Concern", actual sanctions are almost never placed against nations for persecuting religious minorities. Every year millions of Christians living around the world face government restrictions and social hostility, often including extrajudicial killings, rape, and torture, simply because of their religious identity.
Friday, February 14th, 2014
Mark Felder, a Christian music artist based in Houston, Texas, is receiving death threats after the release of a song opposing homosexual lifestyles and gay marriage. Felder's song was a direct response to a popular track entitled "Same Love" released by artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The highly intolerant response Felder is receiving to his music is emblematic of a prevailing culture in the United States which is increasingly critical of Christians and orthodox Christian values. ICC continues to monitor incidents of anti-Christian sentiment throughout the United States.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
The Marriage and Religious Freedom act, authored by Republican Raul Labrador and currently co-sponsored by 100 Congressmen, is designed to protect from intimidation those who hold an orthodox Christian view of marriage. The bill specifically blocks federal agencies from targeting or discriminating against those who espouse a traditional definition of marriage. Christians across the United States have become increasingly concerned at the level of intolerance towards Christian values and beliefs that permeate both politics and popular culture.
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.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Idaho are looking at a new bill which would protect licensed professionals from having their credentials revoked for refusal to provide services that would violate their religious beliefs. The proposed law comes at a time when Christians in the United States are increasingly concerned about issues of religious liberty. The requirement under the Health and Human Services mandate passed early in 2012 that business owners, including those of faith, provide certain types of insurance for employees, including insurance that covers abortion or abortion inducing drugs, has caused serious alarm.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
This brief article takes a glimpse at the role that U.S. foreign policy plays in addressing the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. ICC regularly works with the State Department to help inform U.S. foreign policy and provide timely, accurate information on incidents of violence or discrimination against Christian communities. While the United States does recognize international religious freedom as an objective, this issue is often a very low priority for the U.S., even among other human rights issues.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
On Thursday, a conservative Christian law group filed an argument with a U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of the use of "In God We Trust." The filing was necessary because an atheist organization is currently suing to remove the motto. Across the United States efforts are being made in the legal arena to remove references to Christianity from public view. This attitude towards separation of church and state has also heavily influenced the public school system, where there have been several incidents of Christian students being silenced when attempting to share their faith in recent months.
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has found that Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian owners of a bakery in Portland, are guilty of violating the civil rights of a lesbian couple after refusing to bake a cake for their wedding. The Klein's refused on the basis of their Christian faith and now face possible fines. The Klein's have already moved their bakery out of its location and into their home after pro-LGBT groups targeted the business and its supplies with threats and intimidation. The Klein's children were also issued death threats at school.
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has, in what is perhaps the most in-depth survey of its kind, reported that hostility towards religion continued to rise across the globe throughout 2012. Hostility rose the most in countries where radical Islamic theology has grown. This alarming development does not bode well for Christian minorities, who faced restrictions or hostility in more countries around the world than any other faith. The following article takes a look at some of the statistics reported by the Pew Forum.
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.
Friday, January 17th, 2014
In yet another incident of anti-Christian sentiment being expressed in the U.S. public school system, a 1st-grader in Southern California was recently ordered to halt giving a Christmas presentation as soon as she began to recite John 3:16. The student, Brynn Williams, was the told to return to her seat and was the only one in the class not allowed to finish her presentation. In a meeting with civil liberty advocates after the incident, the school principal defended the teachers actions, saying " ‘Brynn can write about her beliefs in her journal, in her class work and on her homework, but she is not allowed to share her beliefs aloud to other students.'"
Thursday, January 16th, 2014
The following opinion article by Mathew Clark of the American Center for Law and Justice examines the response given by the Department of Justice to the Supreme Court regarding the Hobby Lobby case and the HHS mandate. The Department of Justice is arguing that business owners of faith will not be able to decline paying for abortion medication for their employees, even if this violates their religious convictions. The case has many in the United States concerned about what appears to be a steady decline in protections for religious freedoms.
Friday, January 10th, 2014
In yet another incident of Christianity facing discrimination in the U.S. public school system, a California 1st-grader was told by a teacher late last month that "Jesus is not allowed in school." The first-grade student, Isaiah Martinez, was handing out candy canes as Christmas gifts to fellow classmates with a small story attached to each candy cane that referenced Jesus. Isaiah was then confronted by his teacher, who reportedly took the candy canes and ripped the story from each, throwing the stories in the trash before handing the candy canes back to the student. The incident is only one of several reported across the U.S. last year as hostility towards orthodox Christianity continues to grow in the nation, especially in the public sphere.