A Texas-based legal group has released another compilation of legal attacks against individuals, ministries, and business owners that have stood up for their religious liberties.
Each year, First Liberty Institute compiles a list of incidents of hostility based on religious beliefs. This year showed 1,285 such incidents – more than double the number documented by the initial survey, published in 2013. First Liberty attorney Justin Butterfield tells OneNewsNow that some of the attacks have been in areas that used to be unthinkable.
"We've seen numerous religious ministries forced by the government to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs that would violate their religious beliefs," he begins. "We've seen a football coach suspended for praying after a football game on his own. We've seen the Department of Veterans Affairs stop Native Americans from practicing their faith."
In addition, an Orthodox Jewish synagogue was sued by the government for meeting in a private home – and a Marine was court-martialed for refusing to take down a Bible verse.
"... We're hopeful that people whose faith is attacked, whose religious freedom is attacked, will read this and learn what their rights are so that they can stand up and defend their rights," Butterfield adds.
Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty, says even though attacks are on the rise and are "coming from all directions," there is good news: "The Constitution hasn't changed. Religious liberty is still our first, foundational freedom – and when Americans stand up for their rights, they can win."
"Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America (2016 Edition)" is available for download at the First Liberty website.