Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 3/12/18 to 3/19/18
“No one is arguing that atheists do not have the same First Amendment rights of free expression as their neighbors of Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other faiths. This is not the subject of scrutiny. The central question here is how an atheist chaplain can be expected to fulfill a role that, by its very nature, is supposed to serve the religious needs of our service members.”
Read more here.
Prayer and Action
Living our faith means it impacts everything we do. Paul encourages unceasing prayer, and James makes a strong point that faith without works is dead. Have you considered how to positively impact your sphere of influence with the values and care that are derived from faith?
National Prayer Points
You are invited to join at 21-day Daniel fast for healing of our nation, legislative breakthroughs, a reformation of the judicial and education systems, and much more.
Each week we will focus on two new prayer points. We encourage you to add your own prayer points, and journal the requests and answers.
1. NIFLA v. Becerra will be heard at the United States Supreme Court tomorrow. This a very important case around life and religious liberty. Read more here
2. UNITY among all religious freedom advocates to join together and advance the same protections throughout the nation.
“In Dumont v. Lyon, the ACLU is trying to stop the state of Michigan from working with private adoption agencies because they run their programs based on their religious beliefs. Nationwide, we face a crisis-level shortage of families willing to foster and adopt. But in 2017, the ACLU sued the State of Michigan to shut down its partnerships with faith-based foster and adoption agencies, putting at risk thousands of children who desperately need homes.”
“…the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit refused to save the historic cross-shaped Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial, which has stood since 1925 in honor of 49 Bladensburg-area men who gave their lives during WWI.” Now First Liberty appeals to the Supreme Court.
1. Decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop
“The justices heard oral arguments in Jack Phillips’ right-of-conscience case on December 5. The day after oral arguments, the justices met in their closed session, voted on the case, and assigned an author to write a majority decision. We don’t know how the justices voted or who is writing the majority decision. The justices will announce their decision sometime before the end of the term in late June. This will be one of the most-watched cases of the term.
2. Will the Supreme Court grant review in the Rowan County legislative prayer case?
The county board of Rowan County, North Carolina, varied the practice of prayer by rotating through the members of the board. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged this practice, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit initially upheld the practice, but on further review the full court agreed with the ACLU, 10-5, that the practice violated the Establishment Clause.
But in a second case, last September the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 9-6, upheld the practice of county board members praying to open a meeting. The losing parties have asked the Supreme Court to hear this case, which is made more likely because of the split with the Fourth Circuit. CPCF filed an amicus brief supporting the board in the Sixth Circuit.
First Liberty created a cumulative compilation of recent documented instances of hostility toward free religious exercise. It is often cited by lawmakers, educators, opinion leaders, and the media.
International Prayer Points
“A panel of distinguished experts, including Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief; along with a special video message from Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, Member of the UK House of Lords, Chair of the International Panel of Parliamentarians and Project Director of The Commonwealth Initiative for Freedom of Religion or Belief, spoke on the need for religious minorities to freely practice their religion without restrictions or fear of discrimination. Malaysia is often admired as a moderate Muslim-majority country that upholds democratic values and human rights. Unfortunately, deep-rooted racial and religious prejudices due to the politicization of religion has seriously imperiled the pluralistic nature of this important nation.”
“…a 17-year-old Pakistani Christian boy — Patras Masih — was accused of sharing blasphemous content on social media by a local cleric. An FIR was lodged against Patras under 295-C (blasphemy law) following the complaint by Awais. Content shared on Patras Masih’s Facebook account seem to have hurt the religious sentiments of the people in Lahore’s Shahdara. An angry mob, allegedly led by Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Labaiak, gathered outside Masih’s house and outside the police station yesterday. Local media reports said that the mob demanded Masih be handed over to them, called for beheading of the boy and threatened to burn Christian homes if the boy wasn’t handed over.”
“Turkish prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson in an official indictment presented to Izmir’s 2nd Criminal Court on Tuesday. Arrested without bail since October 2016, Brunson is accused of being “a member and executive” of the Islamic movement led by self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused of orchestrating the failed July 2016 coup attempt to overthrow the Turkish government.”
State Prayer Points
Religious Liberty Legislation
Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty. Also, pray that bills and resolutions that undermine our First Amendment Rights will be unsuccessful.
The CPCF legal team has researched best practices legislation and provided talking points on various religious freedom topics to assist legislators. Download their Report here. View a model school policy on invocations before games here.
“Tensions between Jewish students and San Francisco State University have been stretched to the breaking point, creating a potentially dangerous situation. Friction between the two sides has been mounting. A backlash recently erupted when SFSU president Leslie Wong apologized to the Jewish community after he refused, almost a year ago, to categorically assert that ‘Zionists’ were welcome on campus.”
National Prayer Opportunities
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.
The American Prayer Caucus Network is a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 federal and state elected leaders who are standing for faith and impacting the culture. Please join us in praying daily for them, their families, and staff.
“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.
The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization created to support government leaders who wish to partner prayer with legislative and citizen action to protect our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious freedom. Please pray for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation team, our State Directors, legal team, Board of Directors, web developers, technical team, production team, design and graphics team, CPCF intercessors and donors.
Email me to join the CPCF Prayer Team! Commit to praying for the Members and families of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, The American Prayer Caucus Network, and the CPCFoundation.
Prayer for Anti-Faith Groups
For more information about this prayer initiative, contact Summer Ingram, National Director of Prayer and Mobilization for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.