According to a new report from International Christian Concern, for the first time the United States has been placed on the “Wall of Shame” for countries to watch for Christian persecution.
While noting that what Christians experience in the USA in not at all what Christian in countries like Iraq or Nigeria experience, the report notes the fact that Christianity is being publicly marginalized by an increasingly hateful, militant secularism that is encoding their open disdain into law in the United States:
In short, Christians in the US are facing constant attacks in the media, where they are portrayed as bigoted, racist, sexist, and close minded. The characterization in the media may be translating into direct attacks as well.
The First Liberty Institute, the largest legal organization in the US dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom, documents such actions and reports that attacks on religion doubled between 2012 and 2015. More importantly, Christians and all religious people are being marginalized through the law.
The rise of these cases stems partly from a broad cultural shift towards secularism. The Pew Foundation found that those identifying as non-religious in the US rose by seven percent, to 23 percent of the total US adult population within just seven years (2007 to 2014).
Anti-Christian entities have been able to leverage the growing secularization of society and culture to their advantage, utilizing the courts as a preferred venue to gradually marginalize and silence Christians. Using the cudgel of “equality,” secular forces in and out of the courts have worked to create a body of law built from one bad precedent after another.
Claims of intolerance and inequality are used to fundamentally distort the clear intent of the First Amendment. The Founders carefully and deliberately placed religious freedom as the first liberty because it encompasses several fundamental rights including thought, speech, expression, and assembly. The First Amendment explicitly grants freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The essential aim is to protect the right of citizens to practice religion in the public square.
Decades of accumulated poor judicial decisions and precedents have twisted the First Amendment so that the courts, in defiance of the Founders, are pushing religion out of the public square, and into the small space of private expression. In essence, the courts are deciding that you only have full religious freedom and expression in the church and your home. In the public domain, your religious views and thoughts must be restrained and controlled.
This trend is extremely worrying in the country that has long held the ideal of religious liberty. While there is no comparison between the life of a Christian in the US with persecuted believers overseas, ICC sees these worrying trends as an alarming indication of a decline in religious liberty in the United States. (source, page 11)
We’ve been warning you this was coming. We’ve said that Christianity in the USA has been in decline and that if things did not change, Christians would become an unwanted group subject to the same discrimination and even attack as Christians are in other countries are every day. In other words, the horrors of the old would eventually come to the new world.
If this is what 2016 brought, then what does 2017 have in store?