Religious Liberty for Workers, Protecting Religious Freedom & Care for Immigrants
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously clarified Thursday (June 29) an almost 50-year-old decision in a way that strengthens the right of employees to practice their religious beliefs without penalty. The Sunday before the fourth of July marks a day many churches focus on and pray for religious liberty. It’s one of the foundational liberties shared by Americans. And, amid a contentious U.S. immigration crisis, messengers to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting resolved to biblically care for immigrants while urging just and compassionate governmental treatment.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously clarified Thursday (June 29) an almost 50-year-old decision in a way that strengthens the right of employees to practice their religious beliefs without penalty.
In a 9-0 opinion, the high court ruled previous interpretations of its 1977 decision in a workplace accommodation case have been mistaken. The justices made clear the standard in such disputes is whether an employer would suffer a substantial cost and not just a minimal or trivial one to accommodate a worker’s free exercise of religion.
Gerald Groff — an evangelical Christian who believes Sunday is the Sabbath and should be observed by rest and worship – appealed to the high court after losing in federal court and before a divided, three-judge panel of the Third Circuit. Groff had sought an accommodation for his belief he should not be forced to work on Sunday.
The Sunday before the fourth of July marks a day many churches focus on and pray for religious liberty. It’s one of the foundational liberties shared by Americans.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has created videos and bulletin inserts for churches as well as article for folks to consider as they enjoy the freedom of religion and teach others of its value.
ERLC President Brent Leatherwood says the best way to protect religious freedom is to practice and to teach its value to the next generation.
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Amid a contentious U.S. immigration crisis, messengers to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting resolved to biblically care for immigrants while urging just and compassionate governmental treatment.
The resolution, the fourth messengers have passed addressing immigration, calls on governmental leaders to “provide clear guidance for immigrants and asylum seekers regarding border policies, legal entry into this country, and work opportunities;” provide “robust avenues for valid asylum claimants,” and “to create legal pathways to permanent status for immigrants who are in our communities by no fault of their own, prioritizing the unity of families.”
The resolution disparages “any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation” as “inconsistent with the Gospel.”
The resolution encourages border protection, adequate resources for border patrol agents, and measures to prevent the exploitation of unaccompanied immigrant children.
The resolution is in step with the larger evangelical community, according to Matt Soerens of the Evangelical Immigration Table. More than 90 percent of evangelical Christians want more secure borders and policies that keep families together, and nearly 80 percent want unauthorized immigrants to have a chance to earn citizenship, the National Immigration Forum reported June 27, based on Soerens’ comments to The Washington Examiner.
AL Baptists Work to Build Camp in Alaska, Empty Historic Church Houses New Congregation & What We Should Learn From Gen Z
There’s a piece of land nestled next to a lake in Alaska, and Tommy Bishop said when he’s there, he thinks of somewhere else. Amanda Hicks knew there were bees inside the building that once housed Chula Baptist Church. Everyone in the small Missouri town knew that. And, what does Gen Z need?
With a recent mission trip to Australia, Fruit Cove Church in North Florida has reached its goal of extending its missions footprint to all seven continents. Author, speaker and a mentor to many, Rhonda Kelley was known for her vibrant spirit and dedication in serving women in the local church, in the seminary classroom, and at the state and denominational level. And, Augustine is credited as having said, “God had only one Son who never sinned, but He never had any sons who didn’t suffer.”
Celebration of New Missionaries, Nicaragua’s Crackdown on Catholic Church & Steps for Starting New Groups
62 new missionaries were commissioned last week by the International Mission Board. The celebration took place in Phoenix, Arizona. In a concerning turn of events, the situation for the Catholic community in Nicaragua has deteriorated. This year alone, nineteen priests have been forcibly expelled. And, Lifeway discipleship expert Ken Braddy offers tips on starting new groups in your local church.