Skip to site content

Religious Freedom

A group of Radical Reformers, known as Anabaptists, found themselves facing a penalty of death at the hands of the Protestant government in Zurich, Switzerland, during the 16th century. Escaping their death sentence, Anabaptists fled to the foothills of the Alps. […] Read More

Nationalistic tendencies contributed to a noticeable increase in government restriction on religious freedom in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center report released on June 21. Of the 198 nations assessed, 28 percent (55 nations) were deemed to have “high” or “very high” government restrictions on religious faith and practice – a 3 percent increase […] Read More

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold President Trump’s ban on travelers entering the U.S. from certain majority-Muslim countries demonstrates the paradox between security and freedom. On the one hand, the court’s decision followed precedent allowing for broad presidential powers when it comes to national security. On the other hand, the decision seemed to […] Read More

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker at Masterpiece Cakeshop, on June 4, 2018. In a 7-2 judgment, the justices weighed the merits of this specific case, ruling that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the Free Exercise Clause. They did not, however, decide that all business owners with […] Read More

Jesus understood that freedom and truth go hand in hand. In John 8:31-32, Jesus taught his disciples that the “truth will set you free.” Where there is no truth, there is no freedom. And this is true “on earth as it is in heaven.” On earth, the Declaration of Independence set the United States apart […] Read More

Religious freedom has continued to deteriorate in many nations over the past year, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) annual report for 2018 released on April 25. “This ongoing downward trend often intersected with authoritarian practices characterized by hostility toward dissent, pluralism, independent media and active civil society, or took place […] Read More

Both as a place to foster community in the midst of difference and as a prophetic voice speaking truth to power, the church has been – and continues to be – a noble institution in public life. But these roots are threatened by efforts to change tax laws governing nonprofits and religious groups. For this […] Read More

John Smyth and Thomas Helwys fled England for Holland at the beginning of the 17th century. Migrating across the English Channel, Smyth and Helwys arrived on the shores of Holland as hopeful immigrants seeking to follow their conscience, practice their faith and discover a new life for them and their families. As Englishmen on foreign […] Read More

Understanding the interplay between states and religious traditions is vital to protecting religious freedom for all, said Ahmed Shaheed, U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, in his annual report released on Feb. 12. “The degree to which States are entangled with various religions or beliefs has far-reaching implications for their disposition and […] Read More

An interim study on “radical Islam, sharia law, Muslim brotherhood and the radicalization process” was commissioned by Oklahoma Representative John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) in October 2016. I wasn’t surprised, since some of the legislators from the same House sponsored anti-sharia law State Question 755 a few years prior. Bennett, a well-known “Islamophobe,” called Islam “a cancer” […] Read More