Religious freedom is one of the most essential rights that a human being could be granted. It is the right to believe in what you choose to, to see the world the way you want to, without imposing it upon or harming those around you.
All across the world, freedom of religion is under assault. Whether it’s in the “enlightened” West or the “barbaric” East, no nation is being spared; they just face a different opponent.
“Equality” in the West
The UK is facing the vote on a bill that could force religious communities to hire openly homosexual people, no matter the beliefs of the church. The so-called “equality bill” is removing religious freedom in the name of ‘equality.’
Since the legalization of same-sex marriage, many religious institutions have been sent to court. Litigation often comes because they deny their services to homosexual people on religious grounds. No matter who wins in court, these non-profit, religious institutions are often left bankrupt—burdened by astronomical law fees.
If these organizations do lose the litigation, the law silences them, and precedence is set for future cases, slowly eliminating religious freedom.
Religious Oppression in the East
Religious oppression in the East is not so uncommon.
In a small village in Laos, 48 Christians have recently been forced out of their homes at gunpoint. With no tools and skimpy supplies they have been relegated to an open field nearby.
The day of the exile the Christians had guns put to their heads with the demand to deny their faith.
But now they’re homeless and helpless.
This isn’t the first time the village officials have pressed the Christians to renounce their faith. Previously all 80 of the Christians in the village were locked in a school compound without food until they signed written agreements to deny their faith. 10 of the 17 families eventually agreed to sign the papers, after suffering from extreme fatigue and hunger. The other seven families settled on an open field nearby where they survived on whatever food they could find.
Other Christians in the village have been killed; others have had their most prized possessions and food taken away.
Stories like this are all too common in similar parts of the world.
Religious Freedom is Something Worth Fighting For
No matter where you live, religious freedom is being assaulted nearby. UFI understands the threats and is fighting to give everyone the chance to think and peacefully act according to the dictates of their own conscience. Whether it is internationally or locally, UFI is in the trenches.
This March, UFI will defend religious rights at the UN conference in New York. Please, help us fight this crucial battle.