13 Aug Religious Freedom: A Human Right
by Diane Robertson
In the United States, there has been a battle of words and ideas that has extended to the legislatures and into the court houses. Many people have felt called upon to fight the battle for religious freedom. These people want to be able to worship in their homes, in their businesses, in their churches and synagogues according to their consciences. They want to choose how they worship without the fear of persecution.
We have seen this battle carried out in two Supreme Court cases this past spring. One for public prayer and one for businesses. Many people hold religious freedom as a most precious right. A right that keeps communities and nations safe and prosperous. The Founding Fathers emphasized the sovereign importance of religious freedom by including it as the very first right in the Constitution. Freedom of Religion has blessed and prospered Americans for more than two centuries.
Presently, the world is witnessing the brutality, depravity, and savagery in a region void of religious freedom. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (Al Sham meaning the Levant, or Greater Syria)) terrorists have been moving through Iraq killing all men, women, and children who are not adherents to the Islamic faith.
ISIS warned all people of different faiths to convert to Islam or face death. Now they are savagely fulfilling those threats. Even families that paid an ISIS mandated tax are being victimized.
The terrorists have invaded the communities of Christians and Yardizis. They’ve made music videos of themselves celebrating while murdering civilians and captured soldiers.
Several images have emerged of Christian children beheaded by ISIS, simply because they are not Islamic. Women are being raped and murdered. The men are being hung and crucified. These people are facing three options: convert to Islam and become one with ISIS, stay in their homes and risk death or imprisonment, or run away into the desert in hopes of finding safety.
These people need help now. President Obama has authorized air strikes. In a humanitarian effort, the United States, Britain, and France are dropping supplies, food, and water in to help the Civilians. In a speech, President Obama said:
“The United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now… When we face a situation like we do on that mountain — with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help . . . and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye.”
Many religious and non-profit organizations are gathering donations to assist in the humanitarian effort. You can help. Please pray for these people. Pray for religious freedom, and if you have the means, please donate.
This catastrophe has reminded us of why it is worth the time and effort to join in the battle of words for religious freedom. The United States and many nations have been blessed through the efforts and lives of our forbearers with the freedoms we enjoy. For the safety and freedom of many, we must be diligent in continuing those efforts. Often these efforts involve doing all we can for God’s children everywhere. It is a human right to be able to worship in our homes, in our businesses, in our churches and synagogues according to our consciences without fear and without persecution.
WARNING: Some links lead to graphic images