Religious freedom, specifically Christian religious freedom, is not just declining in America—it’s on a serious decline across the Western world. In Canada, a Christian music festival was recently refused a permit by Toronto, Ontario city officials for the use of a downtown square. This festival has been an annual event since 2006 and has been set up in this particular square for five years without any issues. This refusal came because “the city has decided that singing the name of Jesus in the public venue contravenes city policy against ‘proselytizing.’” A city official said, “If you’re praising Jesus, ‘praise the Lord,’ and ‘there’s no God like Jehovah,’ that type of thing, that’s proselytizing . . . That [kind of thing], from the stage, is not acceptable.”
So a Christian group isn’t able to sing in the public square if their songs mention Jesus? One individual who regularly preaches in the square says, “Daily I see every kind of event, from Muslim, Buddhist, LGBT, Rap, Hindu, and they all share their beliefs and express their philosophies . . . This City of Toronto verdict is telling the Christian Community that we are not allowed to be ourselves on Toronto property.”
And this is not the only example of religious freedom decline in Canada. The new Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has recently made it clear that every new member of his party, the Liberals, will be expected to vote pro-choice on the issue of abortion—regardless of their personal and religious beliefs about the sanctity of life. Apparently he and his party are treating this supposed “right to choice” as a right guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canada’s bill of rights and part of their Constitution). So it doesn’t matter if a new member of the Liberal party is pro-life; according to their leader, they must vote pro-choice!
We’re seeing this kind of discrimination against Christians more and more across the US and in the West in general. Christians simply aren’t being allowed to exercise their right to religious freedom—and it’s only going to get worse. We’re in a spiritual battle, as Ephesians makes clear: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Our enemy, Satan, hates us and is working hard to silence Christian voices. There is no neutrality in this spiritual battle. Scripture makes it clear that you are either for Christ or you are against Him (Matthew 12:30)—there is no neutrality. And, sadly, more and more people are taking a public stand against Christ and we’re only going to see this more and more as our culture continues to turn away from God’s Word.
This makes me realize how vital the ministry of Answers in Genesis is, including the the Creation Museum and the coming Ark Encounter as we proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel in a highly public way!
I encourage you to be in prayer for Christian liberties and freedoms. And I encourage you to stand more strongly than ever on God’s Word while you unashamedly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. It’s the gospel that will change hearts and minds for now and for eternity.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.