Hebrews 11:33 (ESV)
Since our founding 12 years ago, thousands of courageous Christians have partnered with Advocates for Faith & Freedom in the fight for religious liberties and to end the tyranny against Christianity. You may remember a few of our cases from over the years where, through God’s blessings, your faithful prayers and generous financial support, we have been victorious for His kingdom!
Pearlie Jenkins and Healing Hearts Outreach Ministry took on the Memphis Housing Authority! Standing for free assembly and exercise of religion in 2007 when her Bible study was banned from her retirement home, Pearlie contacted Advocates. Just 3 days after our complaint was sent, the MHA not only decided to permit the Bible study, they also adopted a policy protecting the religious liberties of all the residents!
High School student Chad Farnan “stood up for Jesus” against his teacher and the entire Capistrano Valley Unified School District! In 2007, Chad exposed his teacher’s frequent hostility in the classroom towards religion and in particular, Christianity—once telling his students that, “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.” With the help of Advocates’ attorneys, in the first case of this type, a Federal Court initially found that some of the teacher’s comments of violated the Establishment Clause!
With a desire to bring “spiritual revival to a depressed area,” Lake Elsinore Christian Center and Pastor Jim Hilbrant fought City Hall…and won! When City officials denied the church a building permit, they sought our help in the first-ever case of violating the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In 2007, after a seven-year battle that was pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, the City of Lake Elsinore settled, paying the church $1,205,000, in a precedent-setting victory for religious land use protection for churches all across the nation!
In 2008, Superior Court employee Mindy Barlow and her group’s six-year-long, lunch-time Bible study meetings were suddenly no longer allowed, while other groups were still permitted, so she contacted Advocates to file a complaint on her behalf. Ms. Barlow “just wanted the judicial system to… apply the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.” The Superior Court’s Administration agreed to settle, permitting Ms. Barlow and the Bible study group to resume their access to the free exercise of religion in the courthouse facilities!
In December 2013, two brave first-graders won the war on Christmas by fighting against religious bullying and intimidation in their schools!
Little Isaiah Martinez was not allowed to share a Christmas legend with his classmates about a candy-maker who created candy canes to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. His West Covina school teacher told him, “Jesus isn’t allowed in school.” After we filed a Federal Lawsuit, the School District agreed to craft a new district policy that accommodates religious liberties at all of its campuses!
That same month, Brynn Williams’ Temecula Valley school teacher prevented her from completing her class assignment to share her family’s Christmas tradition. As she began describing the Bethlehem Star from atop her family’s Christmas tree, before she could quote John 3:16, her teacher interrupted with, “Stop right there! Go take your seat!” She later explained, in front of the entire class, that talking about the Bible or sharing its verses was not allowed in school. After receiving Advocates for Faith & Freedom’s demand letter, asking for an apology, the School District agreed to allow Brynn to complete her speech in her class and provide First Amendment training to its staff!
We are honored to have partnered with these inspiring Christian soldiers who have stood in the gap with us in the fight to protect and defend religious liberty across our nation. Because of your support, we have been able to represent all of these individuals without charge!
Advocates for Faith & Freedom has grown over the years and we now have eight Christian attorneys! Through their hard work, time and sacrifice, Advocates for Faith & Freedom is making a difference in our laws and culture!
But there is more work to do! We ask for your continued prayers and are thankful for your tax-deductible support for three important, precedent-setting court cases that we are litigating today:
- The Scharpen Foundation v. CA Attorney General – defending free speech and the sanctity of life. We had a victory at our hearing in State Superior Court – October 30, 2017!
- Calvary Chapel Bible Fellowship v. the County of Riverside – defending their religious land use rights. We are awaiting Riverside County Superior Court Judge’s decision by
November 9, 2017.
- Chino Valley Unified School District v. Freedom From Religion Foundation – defending the right to ceremonial prayer before school board meetings under the Establishment Clause. The judge will hear our oral arguments in the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal on November 8, 2017.
We are grateful for your ongoing support of our vital ministry. Through God’s blessings, your continued prayers and your tax-deductible gifts, Advocates for Faith & Freedom will continue to be a strong Christian voice for justice in the courts!