Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
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.
Monday, September 30th, 2013
In yet another attempt to remove every vestige of Christianity from the public sphere an atheist organization has demanded that the city of DeLand, Florida remove or change it's 131-year-old city seal thanks to the "Christian theological virtues" it espouses. The seal contains a cross, heart, and anchor and was created in 1882 to reflect the cities values of "faith, hope, and charity." Atheists argue this violates the establishment of religion clause in the U.S. Constitutions First Amendment.The request for the removal of the seal is only one of many incidents around the United States in recent years where potentially Christian messages in public places have been targeted by atheist groups.
Monday, September 30th, 2013
On Friday night Pastor Ronald Harris was gunned down "while preaching" at a revival service in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The gunmen later turned himself into authorities, but very little information about his background or his possible motive for the shooting has yet to be ascertained. The fact that the murder took place during a revival service in front of the pastors wife and church members does however bring into question whether the killer may have been angry at the ministry of Pastor Harris. Across the United States reports of discrimination against Christians, especially those who publicly oppose the legalization of gay marriage, have been rising. At the same time atheist groups remain extremely active in working to remove all vestiges of Christianity from the public sphere.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
On September 1st Fox Sports Southwest fired Craig James, a Christian, because of statements he had made regarding gay marriage in a political campaign last year. The statements, which were in-line with the official platform of the Texas Republican Party, were apparently discovered only a couple of weeks after he was hired. Craig James believes he was discriminated against and fired based on his views, which stem from his religious beliefs, and is taking the issue to court. The case is part of a larger and worrying trend in the United States where Christians who publicly espouse orthodox Christian views on marriage become the targets of hate speech and discrimination.
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.
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
An appeals court has ruled that a family owned business in Michigan must comply with Obamacare and pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs despite the fact that to do so violates their religious beliefs. "These 'HHS mandate cases' thus have staggering implications for believers because the mandate could potentially force Christian-owned companies (and even some ministries) to shut down altogether in order to remain faithful to God and His Word.
Friday, September 13th, 2013
Former NFL running back Craig James was recently fired by a Fox affiliate from his new job as a sportscaster after remarks he made about gay marriage in a 2012 political campaign were uncovered by Fox. Craig James said that gays will "have to answer to the Lord for their actions" and that he would not support same-sex marriage. The comments were made during the Republican primary in an unsuccessful run last year by Craig for the Senate. His firing by a typically conservative news broadcaster is an indicator of just how much expressing one's religious viewpoints may negatively impact ones career in a nation that is increasingly intolerant of religious beliefs that affirm traditional marriage.
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.
Saturday, September 7th, 2013
A Christian run bakery in Oregon has closed down after owners faced a large downturn in business and a lawsuit for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. The couple who own the bakery decided to move the business back into their home, saying they have faced much harassment for their decision to refuse service, which was based on their Christian beliefs. A 2007 law in Oregon makes it illegal for businesses to refuse service on the basis of sexual orientation and provides no exceptions for religious beliefs.
Friday, September 6th, 2013
In the ongoing cultural debate that has pitted atheist and other groups against conservative Christian values a battle is being waged over the pledge of allegiance in Massachusetts. Because the pledge contains the words "under God" students have already been given the option not to recite the pledge, but atheist groups are going further, seeking to ban the pledge completely from public schools.
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.
Monday, August 26th, 2013
In this opinion editorial authored by two chairmen of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom the United States' lagging commitment to international religious freedom is explained. By law the presidential administration is required to designate certain nations as "Countries of Particular Concern" if they egregiously violate the religious freedom of their citizens. The designation carries with it the implication that sanctions, including economic sanctions, may follow until changes are made. The designation has encouraged countries like Vietnam to make positive changes in how it treats religious minorities, including Christians, but has often been forgotten by presidential administrations.
Monday, August 26th, 2013
New Mexico's highest court has ruled that a Christian business owner may not refuse to photograph a homosexual wedding, citing the states anti-discrimination laws against sexual orientation. The attorneys for the Christian business say they will likely take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the ruling forces the Christian business owner to support activity explicitly forbidden by his religious beliefs and therefore violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Pastor Donnie McClurkin, a Grammy award winning Gospel artist and pastor, recently announced he was uninvited from performing at a Washington D.C. Martin Luther King memorial event after pro-gay activists complained about his stance on homosexuality. Pastor McClurkin has previously said he was delivered from the "sin of homosexuality." This apparently disqualified him from performing at the event. In this article one commentator points out the irony that an African-American has been uninvited from a memorial to Martin Luther King for not sharing the majority opinion on marriage.
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
Early last month a U.S. Air Force chaplain faced controversy after publishing an article with the often heard phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes." The Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained soon after, demanding the article be taken down and the chaplain disciplined for the article, saying the phrase insulted those with no faith, despite the fact that the phrase was used by President Eisenhower. Eventually the Alliance Defending Freedom stepped in to inquire about the censorship of the article and the Air Force has now republished it. The story demonstrates how difficult it can be for anyone in government or the U.S. military to express in any way comments that are connected to faith without facing controversy.
Friday, August 9th, 2013
In an almost unbelievable case a pastor in California and his colleague went on trial this week after being arrested for reading a Bible in public outside of a California Department of Motor Vehicles. The initial charge against the pastor was "preaching to a captive audience" until it was pointed out that no penal code in California says such a thing. The pastor was then charged with obstructing a lawful business, but the DMV was not even open at the time the pastor was reading from the Bible. Finally prosecutors decided to charge the pastor with conducting a protest on state grounds without a permit, something which Advocates for Faith and Freedom is contesting, saying that the reading of a Bible does not constitute a protest or demonstration.
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.
Sunday, August 4th, 2013
The American Center for Law and Justice has succeeded in getting a California school district to change its policies regarding the use of school facilities after hours by Christian clubs and organizations. The school had previously demanded a Christian club called the "Good News Club" pay to use school facilities despite having a policy that allowed other non-profit groups, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to use the facilities for free. This blatant discrimination against religious groups was challenged by the ACLJ in court.
Friday, August 2nd, 2013
In a victory for religious freedom and the 1st Amendment the New Orleans City Council voted last week to lift a ban on night time street preaching that had seen several Christian street preachers arrested in previous years. The ban, which applied after dusk, made it illegal to share religious views publicly and had been suspended by a district judge in 2011 after the ban was challenged by civil rights defenders.
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
In this excellent article Paul Strand with CBN News details how the perception that all traditional marriage supporters are bigoted has been enshrined by the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. The article goes on to detail how Christians will and already are facing prosecution for not supporting gay marriage and how we can expect those cases to increase exponentially in the future if current trends continue.
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
In a welcome development the U.S State Department will be opening a new office in order to deepen U.S. ties with religious leaders and communities around the world. As one commentator points out in the article, around 85% of the world's population look to faith as a "reason for being." Engaging with nations and communities on such a fundamental level may help the U.S. to further promote not only religious freedom, something which most of the world's religious believers do not fully enjoy, but other foreign policy goals as well. In the past the State Department has been critiziced for making the promotion religious freedom a low priority around the world. Rarely are countries ever sanctioned by the U.S. government for their treatment of Christians and other religious groups.
Monday, July 29th, 2013
As the battle between traditional and gay marriage supporters in the U.S. continues at least one Texas city is looking to adopt an unprecedented city ordinance banning individuals from holding government posts if they have shown a "bias" against gay marriage in the past. The alarming new ordinance is still in draft form but many worry that if passed it could make it difficult or impossible for anyone who has previously supported views on traditional marriage to be elected or nominated to open positions in city government. This bill would of course overwhelmingly discriminate against conservative Christians who maintain an orthodox Christian view of marriage.
Sunday, July 28th, 2013
The suggestion that one Delaware Public High School may soon offer a class on the Bible has renewed the debate over the proper separation of church and state. Although the class, which would focus on a study of the Bible as a work of literature, has been determined to technically be legal, there is still debate over who should teach the class and how to calm concern the class would be used to "indoctrinate" students.
Saturday, July 27th, 2013
In the United States many pastors fear making any type of remarks from the pulpit that could be taken as political, since the Internal Revenue Service reserves the right to remove funding from organizations which may in their opinion be crossing the constitutional division of church and state. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky is encouraging pastors to challenge the IRS by deciding they are "still going to discuss good and evil."
Friday, July 26th, 2013
ICC Note: Robert George, a "leading Catholic public intellectual" has been elected as the new chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF. The Commission works to hold nations around the world "accountable" for their treatment of religious minorities, including Christians. The new chairman says he is committed to continuing that mission and making religious freedom a higher priority for U.S. foreign policy.
Sunday, July 21st, 2013
In yet another attempt to end any type of religious expression on public school campuses, the ACLU has written a letter to Bloomfield Hills Schools incorrectly suggesting a football coach was leading prayer, violating a speech policy that bans "prayer or references of any religious nature." The Alliance Defending Freedom has stepped in and pointed out that the prayer was voluntary and actually being led by students who are protected under the First Amendment to their right to free speech.
Friday, July 19th, 2013
In yet another case of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attempting to stop the public display of Christian symbols, ten Illinois churches have been sued for plans to erect crosses on an Evansville riverfront in an effort to raise money from charity. Attorneys allied with the Alliance Defending Freedom are stepping in to protect the churches saying that the ACLU has once again misinterpreted the Constitutions First Amendment.
Friday, July 19th, 2013
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has stepped in to defend more than 150 Kentucky schools after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue the schools for refusing to ban the distribution of Gideon Bibles. The ADF points out that Kentucky schools allow other groups to distribute literature in a "free exchange of ideas" and cannot legally single out the Gideon Bibles to be banned. The case is only one of many examples where any dissemination of Christian ideas in public is being challenged by atheist and other groups around the country.
Sunday, July 14th, 2013
The following story is an example of just how much animosity exists towards Christian professors in the U.S. college system, especially if those professors choose to believe in or even attempt to teach intelligent design. The recent hiring of Professor Eric Hedin at Ball State University in Indiana caused anger among scientists and an internal investigation of the professors beliefs after he was accused by the Freedom from Religion Foundation for "indoctrinating" students with Christian based science.