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Many American evangelicals welcomed President Donald Trump’s draft executive order to strengthen religious exemptions in federal laws and programs, even though it would have fallen short of protecting Christian business owners like bakers, florists, and photographers.

Stoking their increasing concerns: high-profile lawsuits filed against those who refuse to provide their services for same-sex weddings; the Obamacare requirement of institutions to provide contraception coverage; and the proposed legislation in California that all schools must obey anti-discrimination regulations or lose funding.

International Christian Concern even included the United States in its religious freedom Hall of Shame list for the first time in 2016, citing “constant attacks in the media” and believers being “marginalized through the law.”

Should the US be included on such lists? Here’s how experts weighed in.

Answers are arranged on a spectrum from “yes” answers at the top to “no” answers at the bottom.

“Persecution in the US isn’t comparable to overseas. Yet there have been too many Christians fired or sued, and too many negative court cases and laws, to miss a clear trend. Most governments don’t publicly declare their hostility toward religion; they use laws like zoning or employment to push it out of the public square. Religious freedom in the US is being pushed toward private expression.”
~Jeff King, president, International Christian Concern

“Every country, including the US, should be included in global assessments of religious liberty or persecution of Christians. The US has only 4.4 percent of the world population, but 10 percent of all Christians. Yet it ...

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April 2017

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