The Faithful Right Here in the U.S. Are Experiencing Very
Real Consequences for Their Deeply Held Religious Beliefs
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—World Magazine reported yesterday that the U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill to give the State Department more tools to promote religious freedom abroad.
It’s a much-needed measure, says author and religion and culture expert Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com), but what about religious liberties here at home?
“The House of Representatives is to be applauded for its efforts to promote and protect religious freedom around the world, especially for those who are being persecuted or even killed for their faith,” McFarland said. “But here at home in the U.S., the faithful need these protections as well. Here, Christians and others are seeing grave consequences for their deeply held religious beliefs. Just sampling of the many examples are that of bakers, photographers, florists, wedding planners and others who are experiencing life-altering penalties for turning down same-sex wedding business—a decision based on their religious tenets. Yes, religious freedom protection is needed worldwide, but let’s not forget the liberties that are being compromised here in America every day.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the legislation, which garnered 116 cosponsors. Said Smith of the bill, “Around the world we are witnessing an unprecedented crisis of international religious freedom, a crisis that continues to create millions of victims. A robust religious freedom diplomacy is necessary to advance U.S. interests in stability, security and economic development.”
The new legislation calls for the State Department to “train foreign service officers on religious freedom and annually designate “countries of particular concern” (CPCs),” World Magazine further reported. “The bill also creates a floor of 25 full-time employees at the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom and makes the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom report directly to the secretary of state…”
McFarland interacts yearly with about 20,000 young people and is the author of the new book, “The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity,” in which he dispels the myths and untruths about Christianity and replaces that with the truth of who God really is.
Another popular book by McFarland, “The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity & How to Answer Them Confidently,” was recently turned into a DVD curriculum set for parents and small groups. Learn more here.
McFarland is the author of numerous other books, including “10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer,” “10 Issues that Divide Christians,” “10 Answers for Skeptics” and the “Stand” series of devotions for teens. McFarland is also an expert in the field of apologetics—the practice of defending the Christian faith in a world where faith in Christ is plummeting at alarming rates.
McFarland has spent years working with young people and takes their questions to heart. He has preached in more than 1,300 churches and has been featured at conferences such as the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Focus on the Family’s “Big Dig” and California’s “Spirit West Coast,” sharing the platform with Chuck Colson, Eric Metaxas, Josh McDowell and others. He also serves as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University (www.ngu.edu) in Greenville, S.C.
Part evangelist, part apologist, part educator and part broadcaster, McFarland focuses on communicating the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. He co-hosts the daily, live radio program “Exploring the Word” on American Family Radio’s Talk Network, heard on approximately 140 stations across the country, and the weekly television show “Viral Truth,” airing on the National Religious Broadcasters Network, which he co-hosts with Jason Jimenez.
Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102