Religious Hostility in America: The Shocking Statistics

New report paints a disturbing picture of what those of faith and deeply held beliefs are up against in our society

by Leah Jessen | Updated 05 Jul 2017 at 12:59 PM

In the past three years, incidents of religious persecution in America have gone up 76 percent, a new report has found.

“The recent spike in government-driven religious hostility is sadly not surprising, especially considering the Obama administration’s antagonism toward biblical Christianity,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), said in a statement June 29 about his organization’s new findings.

The report examines the "hostility to religion" in America.

"Many of the first European settlers on American shores sought freedom from religious persecution … The Founders affirmed that allegiance to God precedes allegiance to the state, and that our rights come from our Creator, not the government," the June 2017 report noted.

The report lists 69 cases since 2014 in which Americans' religious freedoms were violated.

"The report underscores the legitimacy of the actions taken by the Trump administration to end the policies and practices in federal agencies that fan the flames of this religious intolerance," said Perkins. "The increase in reported cases not only reflects the growing hostility, but also the growing courage of Christians, especially young Christians, to defend both their faith and their freedoms."

"It's hard to believe American teenagers could be arrested for delivering a prayer, but that's the kind of nation we live in — a nation that was fundamentally transformed by the previous presidential administration," commentator Todd Starnes wrote in a piece for Fox News.

Related: Two Moms, a Bible Class, and a Very Ugly Lawsuit

Below are seven incidents highlighted in FRC's report:

1.) The government targeted churches for views on a traditional, biblical definition of marriage.

2.) A football coach was criticized for hosting devotionals and Bible studies.

3.) Christian school members were prohibited from praying before board meetings in California.

4.) In several states, an atheist group targeted police departments for having "In God We Trust" bumper stickers on patrol cars.

5.) Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland lectured Russell Vought — President Trump's nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget — about his Christian beliefs. "Even though Article VI of the Constitution precludes religious tests for candidates for public office, both senators appear[ed] to be engaging in such a test," the Family Research Council report states.

6.) An elementary school teacher told a second grader in Texas not to bring her Bible back to school for reading during silent reading time. "The girl's parents, who were afraid to go public with the story, turned to First Liberty Institute for help," the report notes. "When its attorneys raised concerns with school officials, a school spokesman released a statement distancing itself from the teacher's intolerance and explained that students can read any book as long as it is deemed appropriate by the school."

Related: This Man Just Destroyed a Ten Commandments Statue

7.) Transgender individuals sued religious hospitals in New Jersey and California for not performing gender reassignment surgery on patients. (go to page 2 to continue reading)

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