Attacks On Religious Freedom Rise 76 Percent Since 2014

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A report from the Family Research Council published Thursday revealed a disturbing surge in government violations of religious liberty since 2014.

The report, entitled “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in America,” detailed a 76 percent increase in government breaches of religious liberty law since 2014, spiking most under the Obama administration.

“The report underscores the legitimacy of the actions taken by the Trump administration to end the policies and practices in federal agencies that fan the flames of this religious intolerance,” Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said. “The increase in reported cases not only reflects the growing hostility, but also the growing courage of Christians, especially young Christians, to defend both their faith and their freedoms.”

Violations of religious liberty have not only increased in quantity, but have also become more overt. The report details cases from 2000 to June 2017 of attacks on schools, small businesses, churches, non-profits, and individuals. The attacks include teenagers arrested for delivering prayers at school, the forced removal of a 9/11 memorial banner by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ targeting of a nominee for their religious beliefs, and others.

“This narrative pits our historical understanding of the notion of religious liberty—an expansive vision that includes the ability to apply one’s faith to all the details of one’s life—against a more recent understanding of freedoms in which ‘rights’ to a ‘religion-free’ environment or to unfettered sexual expression are crafted into new law and elevated to the level of and even above our foundational constitutional rights of freedom of speech and religion,” the report reads.

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