“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:11
Let us pray that our Christian brethren in the U.S. will persevere in living out and defending the Catholic faith.
A report examining court cases from recent years has found that hostility towards religion has grown to unprecedented levels in the United States.
The newly-updated Survey of Religious Hostility in America serves as “a testament to the radical shift in our culture’s worldview” on religion, said Kelly Shackelford, president of Liberty Institute, and Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council. On Aug. 20, Shackelford and Perkins announced the release of the updated analysis, describing “more than 600 recent examples of religious hostility” in the U.S., most occurring in the last decade.
The survey documented an “explosion” within the last decade of “cases involving local governments discriminating against churches, particularly in the local governments’ use of zoning laws and granting of permits.”
Furthermore, the report documented increasing attacks on religious freedom in the public sphere, pushing “the boundaries of religious hostility” to new limits. In one instance, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs banned funerals at national cemeteries from including religious content, even if the grieving family wanted the ceremony to include references to God.
It also noted several cases challenging prayer to open legislative assemblies, despite the fact that Congress has opened with prayer since the nation’s beginning.
The report also noted the “alarming frequency” of attacks on religious liberty within schools. These cases, which often involve school officials preventing parents, teachers or students from speaking about their faith, are frequently the result of “misinformation” and threats of lawsuits from “secularist organizations,” it said.
The survey also found multiple instances of schools banning Christmas cards and gifts with religious content.
Although these cases indicate a significant increase in religious hostility in the U.S., the report’s authors said, those who stand up for religious freedom “are winning” in court.
“As dark as this survey is, there is much light,” they noted.