Hero on the Hill: Part 2
If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.
10/11/2018 United States (International Christian Concern) – Jeff King: Can you share a little more about what Congress can do to help the persecuted in India?
Congressman Ross: Well, we have to hold their feet to the fire. When Modi was here in 2016, he emphasized their relationship with the United States and his desire to be a strong partner, but if that is going to happen, they have to deal with religious persecution.
We absolutely expect to get a response to our correspondence with some concrete evidence that they’re taking steps to curtail religious persecution. We’re asking President Trump, who has met with Modi, to make sure that there is some sense of accountability on their part, showing concrete steps that they are not going to stand for religious intolerance.
Jeff King: Tell us about how, over the course of your career, you have seen religious freedom develop as an issue on Capitol Hill.
Congressman Ross: I was raised Catholic, married a Baptist, and then became a Presbyterian. We weren’t exposed to religious persecution. In my time, it was always the Catholics versus the Protestants in Northern Ireland. It’s not until you hear the stories of those who escaped persecution does it [make you wake up and see] this is real, this is happening.
Having traveled on some CODELS (Congressional Delegations) and spoken to persecution victims and survivors, we realize [a deeper] reason why we serve in Congress.
Yes, we need to make sure people get their Medicare, Social Security, and veteran’s benefits, but when you look at the issue of persecution on a global scale and the impact you can have in that regard, it gives you a sense of fulfilment that validates the reason why you are here.
I think you’ll find that more members of Congress, once they’re exposed, will be more motivated to make a difference. It goes back to how we, as a government, can do more on this issue. One way is by imposing standards by which we are going to measure countries in doing business.
Jeff King: You mentioned that you were not exposed to the issues of persecution as a child, and that is completely normal in America. Most of the Church is asleep on the subject. I would like to ask you to speak to the Church about this; what would you say?
Congressman Ross: There is no greater obligation on this earth than to preserve the sanctity of life at every level, whether in the womb, on the earth, in America, or anywhere.
I think that is one of the foremost reasons that we as Christians have the obligation to go forward and do all we can to stop persecution. Remember, we will have to give [an] account of what we did with the opportunity that was given to us.
That’s why I say when we, as congressmen, are confronted with situations where we see injustice and persecution, we understand that there is something we can do about it. Taking action is not only fulfilling, but an obligation for us as Christians.
So each of us at every level has that obligation to preserve and promote the sanctity of life. [This obligation] means vehemently opposing the persecution [of] anyone, regardless of their religious belief, even if that belief is contrary to our own.
Congressman Ross is retiring from public service at the end of this term and will pursue opportunities to equip young people to become effective leaders. International Christian Concern applauds Congressman Ross and his staff for their dedication to fighting for religious freedom in India and around the world.
For interviews with Matias Perttula, Advocacy Director, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org