By Christy Barritt
Majority of Americans Feel Religious Freedom Is Declining in U.S.
Fifty-one percent of American adults say they are very or somewhat concerned that religious freedom in the U.S. will become more restricted in the next five years. This was the result of new research from the Barna Group, in partnership with the Clapham Group.
The study included 1,008 adults from across the religious spectrum. Seventy-one percent of practicing evangelicals, 46 percent of practicing protestants, and 30 percent of practicing Catholics are “very concerned” about this decline.
“Evangelicals have to be careful of embracing a double standard: to call for religious freedoms, but then desire the dominant religious influence to be Judeo-Christian,” said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group. “They cannot have it both ways.”
The study also found that younger Americans, in general, are much less concerned about religious liberty issues.
Congresssional Number of “Nones” at Highest Rate Ever
A new survey has found that the number of “nones” in Congress is growing.
“Nones” is the new term to describe Americans who are religiously unaffiliated. The number of Americans who claim this attribute is rising quickly, according to many statistics.
For one of its surveys, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examined Congress and religion. It found that from 1979-1980, there were no members of the House of Representatives or Senate who claimed to be religiously unaffiliated.
However, this year’s Congress has 11 members who count themselves as a “none.”
The research acknowledges that it’s possible that “nones” have been a part of Congress for longer, but didn’t admit it for fear of negative consequences.
Many believe this is a sign of the changing American culture.
Christians Killed in North Korea
Open Doors, a ministry that serves persecuted Christians worldwide, has reported that two Christians have died in North Korea because of their faith.
Both men had been to China to learn more about Christianity and the Bible. One had returned to his country only to be shot on arrival, reported the watchdog organization.
The other man returned, was arrested, and sent to a labor camp. It was under the harsh conditions there he died for his faith.
North Korea remains at the top of Open Doors’ “World Watch List” and is the most dangerous place to live in the world as a Christian, according to the organization.
“Nothing much has changed under new North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un,” said spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “In fact, persecution of Christians has increased. Reportedly one labor camp alone could hold up to 6,000 Christians.”
Pentecostal Woman Wins Restaurant Settlement
A Pentecostal teenager who was fired from her fast-food job for wearing a skirt to work has won a $25,000 settlement in the case.
Ashanti McShan of Texas won a discrimination lawsuit against Burger King. She was let go from the restaurant after wearing a skirt to work for religious reasons.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the federal complaint on behalf of McShan. They noted that some Pentecostal Christians believe the Bible teaches women to wear only skirts. This belief, however, went against Burger King’s dress code. When McShan started as a cashier, she was assured she could wear her skirt, but later the store manager told her if she didn’t change, she’d be fired.
McShan won because the court said Burger King violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees from religious discrimination in the workplace.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.