Group Asks Supreme Court to Defend Religious Freedom

BOB ESCHLIMAN, Charisma News

When it comes to American Christians whose religious liberty may be infringed upon, the U.S. Constitution, First Amendment and civil rights laws clearly define what constitutes religious persecution.

But what about people in other countries who wish to come into our country because they have been persecuted in their home countries? According to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, if someone is able to continue practicing his or her faith in hiding—even if they face punishment or death for doing so—that doesn’t constitute grounds for seeking asylum to the U.S.

The biggest issue, according to a number of Christian court observers, is that federal law doesn’t define “religious persecution” as it applies to the Immigration and Nationality Act. Now, several of those groups are asking the Supreme Court to take up the case of Xue Ting, a Chinese Christian who has sought asylum in America.

Pacific Justice Institute, which has submitted an amicus curiae to the Supreme Court, asking that it take up the case, issued the following statement about Xue’s case:

The appellant, Ting Xue, not only had to practice his faith in secret to avoid discovery and punishment at the hands of Chinese authorities, he was also arrested for attending a church that wasn’t state-approved.

Xue was then confined in unsanitary conditions, beaten by interrogators and fined more than half of his annual wages. After his release, Xue narrowly avoided being sent to a labor camp when Chinese authorities re-arrested members of his church, which continued to operate despite a previous raid.