WATCH: 6 Pastors Share Personal Stories of Religious Freedom Challenge
A Word From the Alliance Defending Freedom
With over 24 years of service, at all court levels, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has seen the cultural and legal trends clearly shift against the Church. As a result, churches need to be prepared to face the legal issues of today and tomorrow.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Masterpiece Cakeshop that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission treated cake artist Jack Phillips with hostility because of his religious beliefs. His case confirms a trend: It is becoming increasingly unpopular to be a Christian in America today.
Many of our readers know that this is not an isolated issue. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has helped marginalized people of faith across the country since 1994. We handle hundreds of legal matters each year.
What may surprise people, however, is the second-class treatment that the government has shown churches in particular. Two of the eight ADF Supreme Court victories in the past seven years have involved churches: Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri and Good News Community Church in Gilbert, Arizona.
The unfavorable treatment of churches has real consequences for how pastors and church leaders preach and live out the Gospel in their communities.
Six pastor clients share their stories with us of how their religious freedom has been tested across the country – in California, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. While some of these issues have now been resolved, we are still seeking relief for others, including in a new, recent case of religious discrimination against a North Carolina church.
The sentiment conveyed by each of these pastors is the same: They acknowledge that churches have a new burden to bear – the legal burden that comes with a changing culture. But what encourages them, and what empowers churches no matter their size, is that they have a legal ally that can come alongside them whenever their religious freedom is challenged.
Our mission at ADF is to keep the doors open for the Gospel. And that’s exactly why we created the Church Alliance: to take the legal burden off pastors and church leaders so that they can focus on the ministry God has given them to steward.
So when pastors are empowered to preach the full counsel of God’s Word and operate their churches as they are called without fear of government punishment, we are grateful.
As Pastor Chris Lewis of Glendora, California says, “It’s going to let most pastors sleep well at night.”
Visit the Church Alliance website to learn more about how your church can become a member.
John Harding serves as a communications specialist at Alliance Defending Freedom.