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Alliance Defending Freedom Member Appointed to Key UN Religious Freedom Post

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The Alliance Defending Freedom has had a very good year. They represented two defendants in the most high-profile religious freedom cases in the nation over the past few years, Barronelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips, both of which received favorable answers from the Supreme Court this month that the state had no right to discriminate against them because of their Christian faith.

Now, ADF UN council Kelsey Zorzi has taken the helm of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, where she will no doubt take a bold stand for global religious freedom that is sorely needed.

CBN reports that Zorzi believes global religious freedom is “in crisis”:

“Religious freedom is being undermined in every corner of the globe,” she said after being elected. “The international community must unite to promote and protect this foundational human right.”

“The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is committed to partnering with Member States, UN bodies and other actors to highlight the current crisis and develop effective responses,” Zorzi continued.

They also note that “In her position as UN Counsel, Zorzi heads up the work of ADF International to stop Christians from being persecuted around the world and to bring those at fault to justice.”

Global persecution of Christians is a mounting issue in these violent times. From the Middle East to China and North Korea, Christians face everything from discriminatory government policies and restrictions on corporate worship or the distribution of Bibles, to death sentences for blasphemy or violent deaths at the hands of angry mobs and religiously-motivated insurgent groups.

One only need take a quick look at ISIS’ modus operandi or the Chinese government’s policies to understand the very real suffering of the persecuted church globally. Christianity may be under attack in America, but a day should not go by in which you do not thank the Lord to live in a place where we can openly worship and live in relative peace as open Christians.

This is a freedom that everyone in the world, regardless of faith, deserves, Zorzi says:

As president of the UN committee, Zorzi’s mission will also include upholding religious freedom, as well as promoting the belief that every individual has “value and dignity”, the news release stated.

“I feel extremely honored to be elected to fulfill my duty as president of the committee,” she said. “The rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief are core values of a free society, protected by major human rights treaties.”

“We have an obligation to prevent violations of people’s inherent freedoms,” Zorzi continued. “No person or group should live in fear of being killed, tortured or oppressed because of their deeply held convictions.”

Amen!

Faith

Pelosi is Barred from Communion by Archbishop of San Fran

WHOA!

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Of all of the personal, bitter, hot topics that our nation is facing, perhaps none is quite as raw as abortion.

With the Supreme Court seemingly poised to overturn Roe v. Wade sometimes in the not-so-distant future, the issue is once again at the forefront of the American political theater, and the fervor is increasing by the minute.

Now, in a wild escalation of the national narrative, church is giving state a little bit of blowback.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion.

Cordileone has written to the California Democrat, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass, and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself.

He did not hold back.

“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,'” he says in the letter.

And also:

Cordileone says in his letter that he wrote to her on April 7, informing her that “should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” He says that since that time, she has not done so.

“Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.” he said.

And with Catholics making up a rather large voting bloc in America, (and California, too), Nancy Pelosi may have to get to praying.

Of all of the personal, bitter, hot topics that our nation is facing, perhaps none is quite as raw as abortion. With the Supreme Court seemingly poised to overturn Roe v. Wade sometimes in the not-so-distant future, the issue is once again at the forefront of the American political theater, and the fervor is increasing by the minute. Now, in a wild escalation of the national narrative, church is giving state a little bit of blowback. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is barred from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance — marking an escalation in a decades-long tension between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Democratic politicians on abortion. Cordileone has written to the California Democrat, informing her that she should not present herself for Holy Communion at Mass, and that priests will not distribute communion to her if she does present herself. He did not hold back. “A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,'” he says in the letter. And also: Cordileone says in his letter that he wrote to her on April 7, informing her that “should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” He says that since that time, she has not done so. “Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all…

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Faith

SCOTUS Rules Against Boston After City Refused to Fly Christian Flag

The decision was seen as a win for Christians everywhere.

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In the United States, we are guaranteed the freedom to practice whichever religion we should choose, and have been since the inception of this great nation.

What we are not guaranteed, however, is freedom from religion.  We are allowed to believe what we wish, but we must also understand that this means we may bear witness to the beliefs of others who are exercising their rights.  Maybe we’ll see a yarmulke at the grocery store, or get stuck in traffic as a baptist megachurch lets out on Sunday.

It also means that all religions must be treated equally – something that the City of Boston is learning the hard way this week.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a program of the city of Boston that allows outside groups to fly flags at city hall must permit the flying of flag with a cross that a camp referred to as a “Christian flag.”

The question before the court was whether flying the flag as part of a government program was considered government speech if the flag belonged to a private organization, in this case, Camp Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that it is not.

The ruling left no room for interpretation.

“We conclude that, on balance, Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the court’s opinion, stating that as a result the city improperly violated Camp Constitution’s free speech rights.

And that’s not all:

The court’s opinion pointed to how Boston said their goal is “to accommodate all applicants” looking to hold events in the city’s “public forums,” including City Hall Plaza, and the flag flying application only asked for contact information and a short description of the event being requested.

Breyer noted that the city employee who fields flag applications testified that before Camp Constitution’s application, he had never even asked to see a flag before granting approval or even before they were raised.

“The city’s practice was to approve flag raisings, without exception,,” Breyer wrote.

The news comes as the mainstream media continues to equate the religious right with the lesser opinions they hold of conservatives in general, thereby creating a soft vilification of Christianity in the process.

In the United States, we are guaranteed the freedom to practice whichever religion we should choose, and have been since the inception of this great nation. What we are not guaranteed, however, is freedom from religion.  We are allowed to believe what we wish, but we must also understand that this means we may bear witness to the beliefs of others who are exercising their rights.  Maybe we’ll see a yarmulke at the grocery store, or get stuck in traffic as a baptist megachurch lets out on Sunday. It also means that all religions must be treated equally – something that the City of Boston is learning the hard way this week. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a program of the city of Boston that allows outside groups to fly flags at city hall must permit the flying of flag with a cross that a camp referred to as a “Christian flag.” The question before the court was whether flying the flag as part of a government program was considered government speech if the flag belonged to a private organization, in this case, Camp Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that it is not. The ruling left no room for interpretation. “We conclude that, on balance, Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the court’s opinion, stating that as a result the city improperly violated Camp Constitution’s free speech rights. And that’s not all: The court’s opinion pointed to how Boston said their goal is “to accommodate all applicants” looking to hold events in the city’s “public forums,” including City Hall Plaza, and the flag flying application only asked for contact information and a short description of the event being requested. Breyer noted that the city employee who…

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