Holocaust Survivor Shares His Life Story
Alter Wiener shared his story with the NPUC on June 17, 2013. His autobiography, From a Name to a Number, tells about his life and how he survived five concentration camps during World War II. Quote from his presentation: "The one who makes you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
America’s Quest for Religious Freedom
By Gregory W. Hamilton
Published in Liberty Magazine May/June 2013
In the sweltering summer of 1789, James Madison penned sixteen words in spare prose that became the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Herein the founding fathers of a young government pledged separation of church and state, thus guaranteeing religious freedom for its citizens and establishing a free marketplace for religion in the United States. Utterly unprecedented in Western history, this construction of a government without the interlocking authority of religion set a new course for faith and politics and has produced a vibrant religious culture unmatched anywhere in the world. First Freedom details the progression of religious liberty from pilgrims and Puritans to the creation of the Bill of Rights and how it shaped a new nation. – From Randall Balmer in his companion book for the PBS Special, “First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty”
The Postmodern Debate Over Church and State
When it comes to understanding the constitutional principles of the separation of church and state, and the free exercise of religion, what is the truth? In today’s passionate melee over the Health and Human Services’ Contraception Mandate—or whether it be the issues of Gay Marriage, School Prayer, the placement of Ten Commandment monuments in public buildings, or the direct funding of federal and state funds into private and religious schools—factions on the religious and political Left and Right are co-opting and invoking the nation’s Constitutional Founders. Many summon them ignorantly and incredulously. More...
Address by Ambassador Bennett at Religious Liberty Dinner
April 18, 2013 - Washington, D.C.
Religious freedom does not just mean freedom to worship. It also means freedom to study one’s faith; freedom to preach it; freedom to engage in missionary activity; freedom to change one’s faith and— yes—freedom to hold no religious beliefs.
As many of you know, the need for action in defending freedom of religion in many countries is urgent. Religious persecution is on the rise around the world. We are called upon to act and to defend the human rights of all. We must do so, because religious freedom is not a theological issue, it is a human issue. Every society must recognize the basic human dignity of all, regardless of faith. We all possess free will. We must have the freedom to exercise this in matters of faith... More
Additional article on this event:
Religious freedom under global threat, Canadian ambassador says (ANN). Calling the freedom to worship “a core human right … that is under increasing threat around the world,” Andrew P. W. Bennett, Canada’s new Ambassador of Religious Freedom, pledged... More
Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion
Summary of Findings
A rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Restrictions on religion rose in each of the five major regions of the world – including in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions where overall restrictions previously had been declining. More...
Full report of the statistical survey by Pew Forum
Romanian Conscience & Liberty Association Partners With City Hall
Conscience and Liberty Association, Romania in partnership with Lugoj City Hall, organized Monday, March 11, 2013 a symposium entitled Religious Liberty or Religious Tolerance. The round table was attended by representatives from churches and government from Lugoj, and took place in the city hall council’s chambers, and featured Gregory Hamilton, President of the NW Religious Liberty Association from the USA. More...
• Can Latino evangelicals save the Republican Party? Republicans don’t like to boast about it in public, but one of the reasons they aren’t necessarily sweating the historic increase in Latino voters in politically pivotal states in future national elections is their faith in God... More
• Arabs need a U.S.-like First Amendment. At a time when religion is clearly the biggest obstacle to progress in the Arab world, it would be great to have a First Amendment-like clause in all Arab constitutions... More
• Tunisia's new constitution could be regional model. Tunisia's slow transition from dictatorship to democracy reaches an end with a final debate on the new constitution, the first in the Arab world to avoid mentioning... More
• If you think Christians here are persecuted, you need to grow up. Christians in Britain and the United States may fairly complain about being ridiculed, Williams acknowledged. But he contrasted that experience with the “murderous hostility” faced by Christians in other... More
• In Pakistan, Adventist sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged blasphemy. A court in Pakistan this month sentenced a Seventh-day Adventist man to life in prison for allegedly defaming the Prophet Muhammad in a case that... More
• Rand Paul: Churches Should 'Challenge' IRS, Tax-Exempt Status With Bold Political Speech. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants churches to challenge the IRS, he said, urging religious leaders to put their tax-exempt statuses on the line with bold political speech from the pulpit.... More
• Catholic Health Association says it can live with HHS mandate. The Catholic Health Association (CHA) on Tuesday issued a memorandum for its members regarding the final rule on the controversial contraception mandate ordered by the Department of Health and... More
• Syria's religious war. If there was a moment when the United States could have productively intervened in Syria, it looks like... More
• Religious Freedom Abroad: The USCIRF 2013 Annual Report. On April 30, 2013, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an advisory body created by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) in 1998 to monitor religious freedom abroad, released ... More
• United States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2013 Annual Report. The 2013 Annual Report represents the culmination of a year’s work by Commissioners and staff to document abuses on the ground and make independent policy recommendations to the U.S. government.... More
• Inside the First Amendment | Legislative prayers, the Supreme Court’s self-created quagmire. When the U.S. Supreme Court declared legislative prayers constitutional 30 years ago, the justices sent a convoluted message to... More
• Massachusetts High Court to Consider “Under God” in pledge.The Supreme Court of Massachusetts has agreed to hear a dispute over the requirement that school children recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase “under God.” More
• A Closer Look at the Contraceptive Coverage Lawsuits.Over 35 lawsuits have been filed by corporations challenging the Health and Human Services regulation requiring that most health plans cover contraceptives... More
• Michigan enacts right-to-work law, dealing blow to unions. Michigan enacted far-reaching legislation Tuesday that threatens to cripple the power of organized labor in a state... More
• After 50 years, confusion remains over school prayer. Someone personally familiar with two of three landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases involving prayer and Bible reading in public schools wonders why 50 years later... More
• Preserve Marriage Washington: Referendum 74 has been officially certified to the 2012 fall ballot... More
• School prayer: 50 years after the ban. School prayer was banned by the US Supreme Court 50 years ago, but there is probably more presence of religion in public school environments than ever.... More
• The great divide: separation of church and state. Florida bill would foolishly allow government to fund religious institutions... More
• Papers of 6 Founding Fathers going online. The University of Virginia Press is putting the papers of 6 Founding Fathers on the Internet... More
• Was Jefferson for Jesus? Our Founding Father's Religious Resume. During our recent 2012 partisan campaign, with its familiar bipolar rhetoric regarding religion, we inevitably heard calls upon Jesus and the Founding Fathers, the latter... More
• How R.I.’s Roger Williams gave us Thanksgiving as we know it. Americans are confused about Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims whose Plymouth feast generates the story are remembered as pioneers of freedom of conscience, brave souls who crossed an ocean for the sake of religious liberty. Not quite... More