Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Monday, November 25th, 2013
ICC Note: A group known as "American Atheists" has filed suit in a federal court in Kentucky with the goal of pushing the Internal Revenue Service to begin taxing religious groups. Currently churches and other religious organizations in the United States are tax exempt, but the atheist organization is claiming this is religious discrimination and a violation of the First and Fifth Amendments. If the suit is successful, churches and other organizations would likely have to begin reporting on their earnings and possibly even paying taxes. The end result could result in a much slower growth for religious organizations in the United States.
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.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Christian groups such as Justice for Jos, the Jubilee Project, and International Christian Concern have long urged the Obama administration to designate the Boko Haram and Ansaru Islamist groups as terrorist organizations in response to their brutal campaign of religious cleansing in Nigeria. Today, as the House Foreign Affairs Committee was about to begin a hearing into the abuse, State formally announced the designation.
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
The recent passage of the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" in Illinois has some observers seriously concerned about the loss of certain freedoms pertaining to religion. Both the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the Thomas More Society, a legal organization based in Chicago that backs religious freedom legislation, are critical of the new law. They say not enough protections exist for Christian business owners who will be forced to provide services for same-sex weddings or Christian judges forced to adjudicate gay weddings. There is also concern that faith based colleges and hospitals will be compelled to rent out their facilities for such events as well. Just how much of the fears will be realized in the coming years remains to be seen.
Friday, November 8th, 2013
Friday, November 8th, 2013
Sonoma State University in California has said it will investigate why a school official ordered Audrey Jarvis, a young Christian student, to remove or hide her cross necklace while working at a student orientation fair earlier this year. Audrey was told she had to remove or hide the the necklace because it "might offend someone." After being told a second time to remove her cross necklace, Audrey left the orientation. Last week she filed a religious accommodation request with the university. The incident is just one of many across the United States in recent years that indicates a growing intolerance for the Christian faith, especially in public settings.
Thursday, November 7th, 2013
As the U.S. Supreme Court takes on a major case involving the freedom of city council members to pray overtly religious prayers, a major atheist group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, has filed a lawsuit against a California city for allowing the city's chaplain to pray Christian themed prayers. The lawsuit is just one of a number of cases in the United States where anti-religious organizations are working overtime to push all references to Christianity out of public gatherings.
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Greece v. Galloway this session, a case that may result in a landmark ruling on religious liberty in the United States. The case pits the city of Greece, New York, against a complainant who has accused the city of "endorsing" religion by allowing for prayers at city council meetings which contained "too much" Christian content. Although the Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of prayers at legislative functions, this case would potentially set limits on the contents of those prayers.
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
After receiving complaints, media attention, and a formal letter from a conservative legal organization, a New Jersey school has decided to overturn its unconstitutional ban on religious music during school programs. The ban was imposed on elementary schools in the Bordentwon Regional School District by the superintendent of schools Constance J. Bauer after she allegedly received complaints about Christian Christmas music being used during school productions. The move was derided as a misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitutions First Amendment, which provides for the separation of church and state and in recent years has been used to push for the complete removal of Christianity from the public sphere.
Monday, November 4th, 2013
A public school in New Jersey recently announced that they would not be playing "Religious Music" during winter concerts in the elementary school. The decision is one more small example of Christianity slowly being pushed out of the public sphere by a culture in the United States that seems hostile to any type of religious expression in public. In 2011 a pastor was arrested outside of a California Department of Motor Vehicles for reading the Bible in public. Charges were finally dropped against the pastor in August of this year. According to Alliance Defending Freedom, the school's decision is unconstitutional and several case studies exist demonstrating that schools are fully allowed to have religiously themed music during school productions.
Sunday, November 3rd, 2013
Redefining the natures and historical understanding if the Muslim conquest of Christian lands, and later attempts at portraying Islamic jihad as heroic have consequently defined Christians as worthy of blame and persecution. Raymond Ibrahim insightfully details this phenomenon of falsehood, and its disastrous impact on Christians.
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Numerous highly alarming reports are beginning to emerge from the United States military establishment revealing what appears to be a consistent patter of labeling conservative Christians as "extremists" and warning service members not to get involved with these groups. Many military personnel, a large portion of whom are from conservative Christian backgrounds, are alarmed at the labels being put on Christian groups and fear they may be punished or their careers may be adversely effected because of their religious beliefs. The following story includes many of the most egregious incidents in recent days.
Monday, October 28th, 2013
The United States Air Force Academy is considering whether to remove the phrase "so help me God" from the oath recited by cadets during graduation ceremonies. The "Military Religious Freedom Foundation", an atheist organization, has filed multiple complaints and gotten the attention of Academy's superintendent, who has called together a committee to decide on retaining or removing the oath. The news comes as just one more incident in a nationwide effort to remove any references to God from public life in the United States.
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.
Friday, October 25th, 2013
Atheist groups have targeted yet another city government this week in an attempt to halt a police outreach program that involves volunteer pastors. The group, American Atheists, argues that even though the pastors are volunteering their time incidental expenses like ID badges use tax payers money and that the program therefore violates the separation of church and state. Atheists have also accused the city of Montgomery of trying to spread the Christian faith through the program. The city launched the outreach program earlier this year in an attempt to combat one of the worst homicide rates in the country. American Atheists warned their suit would cost the city "thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars."
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?
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
On October 23, U.S. President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hold a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future relations of the two countries. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has called on President Obama to highlight the increasingly extreme levels of religious intolerance growing in Pakistan. Just last month, over 100 Christians were killed in a twin suicide bombing of a church in Peshawar, located in Pakistan's northwestern regions. Christians, and other religious minorities, remain the target of false blasphemy accusations, which historically have led to innocent people receiving life imprisonment and death sentences. Please pray that the suffering of Christians and other religious minorities is discussed at today's meeting.
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
The following piece by Joy Allmond highlights the recent work of author Eric Metaxas, who on top of writing biographies for William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, has been exhorting Christians in the U.S. to become more actively involved in defending their right to religious freedom. Metaxas points out that in the U.S. we have been moving from freedom of religion, where faith is allowed to be displayed in the public sphere, to freedom of worship, where religious feelings, displays, and opinions must be kept private in the church or home. However, "once we leave our homes or our churches, we are expected to accept the secular humanist view of everything."
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
An atheist organization is taking its fight to remove what has been dubbed the "Ground Zero Cross" from the planned 9/11 memorial museum to a federal court of appeals. The organization, American Atheists, had its initial suit for the removal of the cross thrown out by a federal judge and was reportedly "angered" by the decision. The lawsuit is just one in a string of cases over the past several years in the United States where non-religious groups have attempted to force any vestige of religion to be removed from public life.
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.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Fox News reports below that U.S. army soldiers were recently subjected to an official briefing where they were warned that the American Family Association, a Christian non-profit, is a 'domestic hate group' along with the Klu Klux Klan and the Nation of Islam. Service members were also warned that they may face punishment for participating in organizations defined as hate groups. The incident comes against rising concerns that Christianity is increasingly viewed with hostility in the United States, especially in the military and government.
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.
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.
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.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
On Saturday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill 400-1 that would re-instate military chaplains furloughed during the government shutdown. As part of the shutdown Catholic priests on government contracts have been forbidden from working, conducting services, or even volunteering their time with members of the military, leaving many U.S. servicemen with no options for religious services. Any priest who ignored the ban could technically be arrested.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Despite the Westgate Mall massacre in Kenya last week, reports indicate that the al Shabaab terrorists are still successfully recruiting from America's largest Somali community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Al Shabaab utilizes the Muslim call to jihad as rationale for filling its ranks, explaining that service with the Islamist group is tantamount to a religious duty. Recruitment videos insinuate that the killing of Christians and innocents "is the real Disneyland," and beckons Muslims to "come join in this fun." More than 22 young men are known to have joined al Shabaab since 2009, but actual numbers remain elusive.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
In this as of yet unconfirmed report one pastor in San Antonia is speaking out about the religious discrimination facing new Air Force recruits at Lackland Air Force Base. The base is the entry point for every enlisted airman and several trainee's have reported facing abuse and intimidation because of their Christian beliefs by gay officers, including being ordered to publicly express their views on marriage and facing threats of retribution for those views. The issue is part of a wider cultural shift in the United States where Christians across the country who publicly espouse their views in support of traditional marriage face ridicule and discrimination.
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.