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Tampa, U.S.A. — On August 20, Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of Liberty Institute, and Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, officially released The Survey on Religious Hostility in America at a press conference during Platform Week at the Republican National Convention.
Simultaneously, they launched an interactive website at www.religioushostility.org, where more than 600 cases of religious hostility, most occurring during the past decade, are documented and available for public download.
Whether a federal judge threatens a high school valedictorian with incarceration for referring to Jesus in her graduation speech; a city official prohibits senior citizens from praying over their meals; or the U.S. Department of Justice tells churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis they can hire and fire, attacks on Americans’ religious freedoms have dramatically increased, both in frequency and in the types of incidents.
On the site, the public can view a U.S. map that contains a sampling of the 25 most egregious incidents of religious hostility. There is also a place to share personal stories of religious discrimination, and a photo gallery representing more than a dozen groundbreaking cases.
“There is really no place you can go in America to avoid these chilling attacks—every community and every age group is affected,” Shackelford said. “We have hundreds of examples. It’s more prolific than we’ve ever seen in the history of our country.”
Perkins added, “As our country enters one of the most critical elections of our time, it’s vital that people of all faiths continue the important work of defending our most precious liberty.”
In 2004, The Survey of Religious Hostility in America was born when Shackelford, along with a number of Liberty Institute’s clients, testified before the U.S. Senate about the growing religious hostility in America. Because the opposition insisted these select testimonies were simply isolated incidents, Senators Kennedy and Cornyn asked Liberty Institute to provide additional information, which led to the development of the first hostilities document.
Led by President and CEO Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Institute is a nonprofit law firm, dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty Institute’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.
Since 1983, Family Research Council (FRC) has advanced faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion. President Tony Perkins and his team of seasoned experts promote these core values through policy research, public education on Capitol Hill and in the media, and grassroots mobilization.
Through outreach to pastors, FRC equips churches to transform the culture. Strategically located inWashington, D.C., FRC is the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power. For information, visit, www.frc.org.