The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has been adding about $100,000 per month to its war chest for the battle to further secure religious freedoms.

The Phoenix-based organization, a coalition of Christian public-interest legal organizations, began operating in January with the stated purpose of "funding the legal defense and advocacy of religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and family values."

President Alan E. Sears says income has averaged $100,000 a month toward the goal of raising $1 million during its first year. ADF hopes to raise $6 million next year and at least $25 million annually in the near future.

ADF's executive committee, in consultation with a 100-member legal advisory group, decides which cases to support, based largely on their potential for setting precedent. Sears says, "Our goal is to strategically plan what battles to fight and sometimes what battles not to fight."

Nearly 20 organizational entities have affiliated with ADF. Thus far, it has failed to land the largest Christian legal defense organization, the Rutherford Institute, based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a statement to CHRISTIANITY TODAY, Rutherford said "participation with ADF would greatly diminish the strength and the ability that the Rutherford Institute currently has to assist individuals."

Sears says he has high regard for the Rutherford Institute and is committed to working to bring it into the ADF fold. "Our prayer," he said, "is for all Christian legal organizations to join."

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