Study: Attacks on Religious Liberty Have Increased 133 Percent in Last 5 Years

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Study: Attacks on Religious Liberty Have Increased 133 Percent in Last 5 Years

Study: Attacks on Religious Liberty Have Increased 133 Percent in Last 5 Years


Attacks on religious liberty have jumped by 133 percent in the last five years, according to a new report by the First Liberty Institute.

The First Liberty Institute, a conservative legal group, said in its annual report, “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America,” that in the last year, there has been a 15 percent increase in attacks on religious liberty.

"In this edition, the total number of documented incidents in this report increased by over 15 percent over the past year and now includes more than 1,400 religious liberty incidents," the report states.

In 2011, the group reported that there were 600 cases of attacks on religious liberty.

"It's school cases, it's military cases, it's open public places cases, employment cases. Unfortunately, it is not [just] one particular area [of society], it's across the board. What we collect is just what's published. So really it is just the tip of the iceberg because what's published is really a fraction of what is actually happening,” First Liberty CEO and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford said.

Included in the cases is a report of Alexia Palma, a Houston woman who was fired from her job as a health clinic worker in 2016. Palma taught was allowed to opt out of teaching a class on birth control because of her Catholic faith, but later she was then told that she must teach the class.

"For a year-and-a-half, I just showed the video, there wasn't any complaints and the patients received their information. Then, I came under new management. The next thing you know, I was getting called into a meeting where they told me that I needed to put my religious beliefs aside if I wanted to continue being a health educator," Palma said.

The First Liberty report comes after the conservative advocacy group Family Research Council released a report earlier this year that said there had been a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations.

 

Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com

Publication date: September 13, 2017

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