A recent study revealed that more Americans, and particularly Christians, believe their religious freedom rights are in far greater danger today than in the past.
Religious freedom rights are commonly defined as “the right of individuals to embrace their religious beliefs and to carry out religious practices in accordance with those beliefs without fear of harm or prosecution.”
A recently published Barna Group study found that 41 percent of Americans believe that the state of religious freedom in the U.S. is worse today than it was a decade ago. This is up from 33 percent who agreed with that statement when a study was conducted in 2012.
In addition to this, Christians were found to be even more concerned with religious freedom and its restriction. In fact, evangelicals were found to be more concerned with religious freedom than any other group.
Seventy-seven percent of evangelicals who are defined as “self-identified Christians who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ” believe that religious freedom is more restricted today than it was 10 years ago.
Sixty percent believed this same thing when the previous study was conducted in 2012.
The heightened concern over religious freedom is in large part due to high profile cases such as that of county clerk Kim Davis who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses based on her faith.
“When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2015 that same-sex marriage must be made legal in all 50 states, millions of Americans were eager to know the potential impacts of the decision on religious liberty,” the Barna study said.
The study also found that there was an increase in concern over religious freedom among the different generations; even among millennials who, three years ago, seemed relatively unconcerned with religious freedom. The current study found that 34 percent of millennials are now concerned with religious freedom.
The study concluded that over the next few years, America will likely see more individuals like Davis standing up publicly for their faith and religious freedom, since a greater majority of individuals have expressed their concern for this right.
Texas Teacher Asks Student to Acknowledge God is Not Real
An assignment at a Texas middle school that required students to affirm that the statement “There is a God” is an opinion rather than a fact left one student “shocked.”
The Blaze reports that Katy Independent School District student Jordan Wooley was in her reading class when her teacher handed out an assignment with a number of different statements and told the students to classify the statements as factual claims, as commonplace assertions, or as opinions.
When she came to the statement “There is a God,” “I said it was fact or opinion,” Jordan says.
However, Jordan’s teacher said her answers were wrong and demanded that Jordan acknowledge that God isn’t real.
“It was really confusing to me at first because I didn’t really know what to do, so the first thing I did was tell my mom,” Jordan said.
Jordan’s mother, Chantel Wooley, was also upset about the assignment.
Katy Independent School District has issued a statement saying the teacher should not be criticized for the assignment because it was meant to evoke critical thinking.
“Still this does not excuse the fact that this ungraded activity was ill-conceived and because of that, its intent had been misconstrued,” the District’s statement continued.
The Wooley family disagrees, however, asserting that the assignment was a graded assignment.
“I love reading so for me personally to have to fail reading because of what my beliefs are shocked me,” Jordan said.
Canada Moves Toward More Anti-Christian Socialism
A Christian group has been denied a permit to hold its annual music festival in a downtown square by the city of Toronto. Reportedly, city officials declared that singing the name of Jesus in a public venue constitutes proselytizing.
YouVersion Bible App just released its most popular verses from around the world. Christianity Today reports the app was launched by Life.Church in 2008 and has been installed over 200 million times. It now offers 1,200 Bible translations in 900 languages.
According to YouVersion, the most popular verse in the United States and Brazil was Romans 12:2. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (NIV).
Mexico, the United Kingdom and South Korea preferred Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).
Nigeria, South Africa and the Philippines chose Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (NIV).
The Canadian favorite was Ephesians 1:23. “And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself” (NLT).
Christians Fight Against Teaching of Islam in Public Schools
A report from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) says that U.S. students in public schools are being forced to learn how to convert to Islam. “It’s Islamic indoctrination right here in our schools,” the organization said.
Brandee Porterfield, a parent, said her seventh grade daughter is learning about Islam as part of her world history class in Maury County, Tenn. “They did this assignment where they wrote out the Five Pillars of Islam, including having the children learn and write the Shahada, which is the Islamic conversion creed,” she said.
Porterfield said she asked school officials if there would be lessons on Judaism and Christianity, but the lessons only included Hinduism and Buddhism.
Maury County school officials say the schools have not violated the constitution and that the schools have just “covered some sensitive topics.”
In response, the ACLJ said: “That’s outrageous. The indoctrination of students with the precepts of converting to Islam and forcing them to recite ‘Allah is the only God’ aren’t ‘sensitive topics;’ it’s unconstitutional.”
School officials did say that Christianity would be covered in the eighth grade. Tennessee isn’t the only state teaching Islam culture. In Wisconsin, students were given an assignment to “pretend you are Muslim.” In Florida, students were asked to recite the Five Pillars of Islam.