Hero on the Hill: Part 1
10/10/2018 United States (International Christian Concern) – Congressman Dennis Ross represents the 15th congressional district of Florida and has served the people of his district since 2011.
He has led a long and distinguished career in public service, working on behalf of a diverse community in Florida. Recently, Congressman Ross worked on behalf of persecuted Christians in India by leading a bipartisan congressional letter calling on Prime Minister Modi to take action to end the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities perpetrated by radical Hindu nationalists.
In recent years, persecution has risen to historic heights in India and continues to increase in intensity. Congressman Ross took action by mobilizing his colleagues in Congress to bring this matter directly to Prime Minister Modi. Congressman Ross has become a true champion of religious freedom and we applaud his efforts on behalf of the persecuted Church. ICC’s president, Jeff King, interviewed Congressman Ross on July 25.
Jeff King: Religious freedom is important to you. Tell us why.
Congressman Ross: First of all, as a Christian, we have to believe that individuals have value and worth that is given to you by God. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re an American, an Indian, or whomever; preserving this gift is one of our utmost responsibilities as Christians. And being an American Christian, where we recognize the sanctity of all our God-given rights, we have the obligation to further the allowance of those rights across the world. Religious rights and all human rights are a part of what we as Christians believe are fundamental to human dignity.
We have been given a lot and, because of that, we have an obligation to speak up and act. When I see countries that rely on the United States for defense [or their economic vitality], but see them engage in violations of religious rights, I have an obligation to put a stop to that. [We] leverage our relationship and [require them] to [stop] their persecution, their violations of human rights, and their demeaning of human dignity.”
Jeff King: As a Christian serving in Congress, are you encouraged by the commitment of Congress to international religious freedom?
Congressman Ross: Absolutely. I will tell you that is the one issue that transcends party. I think it’s also the one issue that we, as members of Congress, can rest on our history and say, this is something we’ve always believed, this is who we’ve always been, and this is what [will be our future].
Look at the period just after the Civil War when Lincoln delivered his proclamation calling for a national day of prayer; the proclamation was overwhelming. He recognized that [our country] failed to look to God for guidance, and that God brought America [to such a low point] that it was time to engage in a national day of prayer. That has been a strong thread throughout our government that we’ve somewhat covered up over the last couple of years because it hasn’t been cool to be Christian.
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming tomorrow.
For interviews with Matias Perttula, Advocacy Director, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org