A diverse group of clergy and legal experts sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to keep a rule allowing religious organizations with government grants to maintain hiring practices consistent with their religious beliefs.
Sent to the White House on Thursday, the letter pleads that President Obama reject calls by many progressive organizations to bar federal grants to religious organizations that use religious affiliation as a parameter for employment.
The letter was organized by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and signed by liberals and conservatives, religious leaders and religious freedom experts. For instance, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Ron Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action; and Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School, were among the 69 signers. more >>
Christian Aid Mission, a nonprofit organization that assists over 500 ministries overseas, has said that the ongoing conflict that is tearing apart Syria and creating millions of refugees and displaced people is an opportunity for Christians to show the love of Christ, which is opening the world's eyes.
Steve Van Valkenburg, Christian Aid Mission's area director for the Middle East, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday that despite the confusion and complexity of the ongoing Syrian civil war, one thing that is clear is that it presents a way for Christians to minister to the suffering people by showing them what the love of Christ is about.
"I think that a lot of refugees see that there is something different there, they see the Muslim on Muslim fighting, and then they see how the Christians are reaching out with love and caring — that has to do something with their hearts," Valkenburg told CP. more >>
WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both political parties told Christian persecution activists Thursday that the U.S. government has a moral obligation to help the Christians and other religious minorities affected by the refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq and also detailed various proposed resolutions aimed at doing so.
As thousands of Christians are risking their lives to smuggle their families into Europe in order to escape from the violence of the Islamic State and the Syrian civil war, Christian activists gathered by In Defense of Christians met with a bipartisan group of Congress members on Capitol Hill to discuss the actions being taken by the U.S. government to aid asylum seekers and other persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
Over 17 members of Congress spoke at the press conference and expressed displeasure with inaction taken by the Obama administration to provide refugees with protection and asylum. (On the same day, the White House announced plans to let 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, a six-fold increase from current levels.) more >>
WASHINGTON — The United States and other world powers are directly responsible for the escalating refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq because of their inaction toward protecting uprooted religious communities from the torturous Islamic State terror organization, a group of human rights activists proclaimed Wednesday.
At a National Press Club panel discussion kicking off a three-day summit on the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians organized by In Defense of Christians, prominent Christian human rights activists called on the United States government to not only recognize the Islamic State's atrocities as "genocide," but also to coordinate a plan to destroy the group and protect peaceful refugees of all religions.
"My parents and I became human rights defenders precisely to ensure that nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again," former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Katrina Lantos Swett, said during the panel. more >>
Australia's grand mufti and highest Sunni authority, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, claims that prioritizing Christian refugees ahead of Muslims, as some Christian and political leaders have suggested, is "discriminatory."
"When it comes to catastrophes such as these we should be prioritising human beings rather than prioritising a certain religion," Mohamed told Guardian Australia.
The Islamic leader further argued that such sectarian thinking is what "got Iraq and Syria into the problems they're facing now." more >>
Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz slammed President Barack Obama's Iran deal, saying that he has neglected American hostages held in the Islamic Republic.
At a rally held on Capitol Hill on Wednesday by the conservative group Tea Party Patriots and attended by thousands, Sen. Cruz said that the deal was "catastrophic" for America and the hostages.
"[The Iran deal] abandons four American hostages in an Iranian hellhole, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and Christian pastor sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel," said Cruz. more >>