Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Monday, January 6th, 2014
A school district in California has agreed to refund thousands of dollars of fees charged to a Christian club for the use of its facilities. The school's policy of charging for facility use appeared to apply only to Christian clubs, even as secular clubs were allowed to use the school for free. The reversal of the decision comes after the school was confronted by a religious liberty organization that pointed out the policy was discriminatory. Americans have become increasingly aware of efforts around the country in recent years to remove all traces of Christianity from the public sphere, especially in the education system.
Saturday, December 28th, 2013
The following opinion editorial by Dr. Halee Gray Scott takes a look at a few of the major incidents of Christian persecution over the past year and asks why their is a lack of outrage on the part of the Western church. Dr. Scott points out the enormous amount of support received by Christian celebrity Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) and Christian owned business Chick-fil-A but the seeming lack of concern at violent persecution taking place around the world. With a very minimum of 100 Christians martyred for their faith every month, most of the Western church seems unaware of or unwilling to speak out about the issue.
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Yesterday, the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2013 was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Introduced by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the bill would provide for the creation of a State Department Special Envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East. The legislation comes at a time when the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East is gaining widespread attention, both in the United States and in the UK. The bill was introduced and passed overwhelmingly in the House back in September, and now awaits a floor vote by the Senate.
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
The Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial Association has joined with the Liberty Institute to appeal a recent court decision ordering the removal of a cross at a prominent war memorial near San Diego. The battle over the cross has gone on for several years and defenders of the memorial are hoping the case will be taken up by the Supreme Court. A ruling by the nations highest court in the case may have a significant impact on other public memorials around the country with religious symbols. The battle over the memorial is a part of a wider effort by anti-religious organizations to remove religious symbols from public in the United States.
Monday, December 16th, 2013
In yet another small victory for anti-religious groups in the United States a district judge has ordered the removal of the Mount Soledad cross, although the order may simply be a move that allows for an appeal with the hope of the case being taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. In recent years atheist groups have actively pushed for the removal of all Christian symbolism from public property, arguing that monuments such as the Mount Soledad cross are the equivalent of a government endorsement of religion.
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.
Friday, December 13th, 2013
In response to a court ruling allowing a monument of the Ten Commandments to remain on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Satanist and Hindu groups have submitted applications to place memorials on the grounds as well. The applications are likely geared towards having the Ten Commandments removed, rather than in the interest of actually placing Hindu or Satanist memorials on the grounds. Battles over religious symbols placed on public property are being waged across the United States as increasing pressure from various groups to marginalize Christianity in the public sphere are underway.
Thursday, December 12th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) continues to call for the release of American-Iranian Saeed Abedini. December 12th marks 444 days since Saeed was taken to an Iranian prison, simply because of his Christian faith. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) co-chaired a joint subcommittee hearing on Iran’s continued persecution of Pastor Saeed. The dangers that Saeed faces in the brutal prison are real and it is crucial that the American people and the American government remain fully engaged to see this father and husband brought home to his family.
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
The following opinion piece by the president of the American Family Association provides an insightful look into the debate over a "war on Christmas" in the United States. President Tim Wildmon responds to comments made by leading Christians that belittle complaints of a war on Christmas, pointing out evidence of the cultural battle taking place and concluding firmly that a war is taking place to marginalize Christmas and Christian teachings in society.
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
In what may become a significant case for Christian business owners across the country, a Colorado bakery owner, Jack Philips, has lost his case after being sued for discrimination by a gay couple. Mr. Philips had refused in 2012 to bake a cake for the couples wedding ceremony, saying participation in the event violated his deeply held Christian beliefs. Colorado State law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation at "public accommodations." The case is just one of several involving Christian owned businesses not wishing to participate in gay weddings.
Monday, December 9th, 2013
As a part of China's ongoing effort to control the growth of Christianity, the Catholic Church has been heavily monitored and restricted. All Catholics must legally belong to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which often ordains ministers without the permission and against the will of the Vatican. In July, Bishop Thaddeus Ma publicly renounced his membership in the organization during his ordination as bishop in Shanghai. Since then he has been under house arrest and forced to attend "re-education" classes. Bishop Ma recently expressed his sadness at the passing of Nelson Mandela and quoted some of his well-known sayings, which are strikingly applicable to Bishop Ma's own situation.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Eritrea is one of the world's worst persecutors of Christians, and also one of the world's greatest sources of refugees. Eritrean refugees and diaspora in the United States have organized and petitioned the American Government to be more aware of and proactive in combatting the grievous human rights abuses of the Asmara regime.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
In an almost unbelievable case, a school counselor at the Robert E. Clark Middle School in Bonner Spring, Kansas confronted a 7th grade student and informed her that she could not distribute fliers for a "See You at the Pole" prayer event because they contained verses of scripture on them. The school then took down the fliers that had been posted and destroyed them, forcing the student to secretly hand out just a few fliers out of sight of teachers. Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group that advocates for religious freedom, has filed a lawsuit against the school saying the school's actions violates the students First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
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?