By Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post
A gathering of various Christian groups Tuesday focused on the need to offer legal religious liberty protection for non-church businesses and nonprofits, with one speaker noting that religious freedom concerns are a “spreading problem.”
At the two-day spring meeting of the Common Ground Christian Network, held at Restoration Anglican Church, attendees heard from multiple speakers who talked about legal challenges facing parachurch groups and others. Stanley Carlson-Thies, founder and senior director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, spoke Tuesday morning about several points regarding religious liberty issues at home versus abroad.
“There are religious freedom concerns popping up all over the place,” said Carlson-Thies to those gathered, calling it a “spreading problem.”
Examples included efforts to coerce Christians in non-profits and for-profits alike to compromise on matters like providing insurance coverage for all forms of birth control or being compelled to provide services for a gay wedding.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Carlson-Thies explained that he felt that those who were attempting to limit religious freedom to churches were going after a sphere of life that religious individuals see as integral to their lives.
“For Christians, we have two commandments: first one is to worship God and the other is to love your neighbor,” said Carlson-Thies, alluding to Matthew 22:37-40.
“Half of what we have to do, one of the two commandments, is all those things that go on outside the church building.”
Carlson-Thies also told CP that it was important for the faith community, Christians and non-Christians, “to keep telling people” about how their faith and work goes beyond houses of worship.