The Great Awakening Shaped the Constitution—and Religious Freedom

How did religious freedom develop in America? It didn’t happen the way most of us were taught in school—whether in elementary school or law school. In fact, notes legal scholar Richard Garnett, the “standard story” about religious freedom in Early America is profoundly misleading: In my experience, this “standard story” is familiar to most Americans, whether or not they are historians or constitutional lawyers, though lawyers have probably been more exposed to and influenced by it than most. Continue Reading...

Global Religious Persecution is Mostly Christian Persecution

The rise of Islamic State has led to a renewed focus on the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria. But as Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan says, “The whole Middle East, without exception, is presently engulfed by a nightmare that seems to have no end and that undermines the very existence of minorities, particularly of Christians, in lands known to be the cradle of our faith and early Christian communities.” And the problem is not just in the Middle East.  Continue Reading...

A University Without Religious Freedom Is Not a University

Around the country, Christian groups on college and universities are being told that if they want to stay on campus they must compromise their mission and principles. As Chris Lawrence of Cru notes, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill denied recognition to a Christian fraternity because it would not agree to open its membership to students of different faiths. Continue Reading...

Should Religious Liberty Be Considered the ‘First Freedom’?

Ask most Americans why religious liberty is considered the “first freedom” and they’ll likely say it’s because it comes first in the Bill of Rights. While technically true (it does comes first) that wasn’t the intention of the original framers of the Constitution The original Bill of Rights included two other amendments that were listed ahead of what we now consider the “First Amendment” but that failed to be ratified. Continue Reading...

Syrian Refugees and the Arab Spring

Syrian children, from the June 2013 issue of The Word Magazine (Antiochian Orthodox Church)We’re having an intense, often heated, debate about the reception of Syrian refugees in the United States. How do Eastern Christians see it? Continue Reading...

A Rare Glimpse at the Underground Church in China

Last weekend was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, an annual day to put special emphasis on praying for the persecuted Church. Remembering the persecuted church around the globe, though, should be a continual effort for all Christians. Continue Reading...