Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 12/12-12/19
“President Barack Obama signed a bill Sunday to combat religious persecution globally – just days after United States Congress passed the legislation known as the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).” Read more here.
“The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued new guidelines in a recent memo regarding religious expression at its facilities across the nation. The new policy permits religiously-themed cards and gifts, Christmas carols, religiously-themed displays and appropriate greetings that can include ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘God bless you.'”
“Does the First Amendment protect merely your right to choose your religion, and nothing more? That’s what some government officials are claiming in the case Sause v. Bauer, in which First Liberty Institute is representing Mary Ann Sause and her right to pray in her home. First Liberty filed a brief on Thursday to refute the officials’ argument. Sause was told to stop praying in her own home one night when police officers came to her apartment to investigate a noise complaint. Sause went before a local Kansas district court to contend that the order to stop praying in her home violated her First Amendment free exercise of religion. But the judge dismissed her claim.”
For anyone who thinks religious discrimination is non-existent in America, the attorneys at First Liberty Institute have a different story.
First Liberty announced the release of Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America (2016). It is available online here, free of charge.
Religious Liberty Legislation
Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty.
“A small Indiana town on Monday afternoon conceded it was no match for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, declining to fight a lawsuit filed Friday that demanded Knightstown remove a lighted cross from the top of its town Christmas tree.”
“In early October, I reported on a Massachusetts law that required churches to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice and sought to punish pastors for using incorrect pronouns when referring to such individuals…Now, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is declaring victory in its lawsuit against Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, which the group filed in order to obtain an exemption for parishes and pastors. ADF has withdrawn its suit in light of the fact that Healey’s office has clarified the formerly expansive sections of the law, removing “houses of worship” from the list of places of public accommodation included in the law’s jurisdiction. The updated law applies only to religious organizations if their facilities are used for a public and secular function, rather than simply an event open to the public.”
“On Wednesday, December 7, First Liberty attorneys will give oral arguments to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in an effort to stop the removal of the historic Bladensburg, Maryland World War I Veterans Memorial, which has stood since 1925.”
“The Fourth Circuit issued an order granting a rehearing en banc in Lund v. Rowan County. In September, a three-judge panel issued a decision upholding the county’s prayer practice, but plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing, which was granted. The case is tentatively scheduled for oral argument during January 24-26. As amici, the brief filed on behalf of the Members of Congress will be refiled with the court at this stage.”
“School children in Wake County, North Carolina will no longer be allowed to sing Christmas carols at an annual Nativity celebration after they received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers.”
“In the city of Bloomfield, the city council approved a policy permitting the public to erect historical monuments in front of City Hall. Residents responded with monuments depicting the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, among others, and someone also created a Ten Commandments monument…The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the monument in November, but ADF is examining the case since the ruling differs with other court decisions.”
“A Texas judge has ordered a school district to restore a decoration that included a biblical verse recited by Linus in the 1960s TV special ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Officials in the Killeen school district north of Austin ordered a nurse’s aide, Dedra Shannon, to remove a handmade decoration featuring a Bible verse from the special (right), fearing it violated prohibitions on religion in classrooms. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to get it restored, arguing the state’s 2013 so-called Merry Christmas law means schools can’t ‘silence a biblical reference to Christmas.'”
Congressional Prayer Caucus
Congressional Prayer: Each week Congress is in session, members of Congressional Prayer Caucus meet before votes to pray in Room 219 of the U.S. Capitol.
There are over 100 Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus, that is spearheading a strategic movement of national, state and local leaders and citizens who are working together to promote prayer, protect religious freedom and restore, upgrade and popularize America’s founding spirit and the principles related to faith and morality that shaped this Great Republic. Please commit to praying for them regularly.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2, Psalm 91
Include: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Military, Faith Leaders, First Responders, Etc.
Join people from across the nation for 24/7 Worship in Washington DC. They welcome worship teams from every tribe, tongue, nation, denomination, and all 50 U.S. states. Learn more here
“Even though United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May declared to the island nation’s Parliament that Christians should be able to discuss their faith while at work, a veteran intensive care nurse at Darent Valley Hospital was fired for doing exactly what the British leader said was well within her rights.”
“An American Christian who has been a pastor of a church in Turkey and ministering to the Turkish people for more than two decades has been imprisoned for his faith.”
There are many organizations on the front lines that need our prayers.
Alliance Defending Freedom, ACLJ, Becket Fund, Liberty Counsel, Liberty Institute, Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty and any others that come to mind.
For more information about this prayer initiative, contact Summer Ingram, National Director of Prayer and Mobilization for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.