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3 Tools for Your Religious Liberty Campaign
By Melissa Reid

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There’s no doubt that religious liberty faces dire circumstances in many areas around the world today. In North America we’re seeing the line separating church and state grow ever more diminished, while religious discrimination in the workplace continues to skyrocket. Freedom of practice and belief fares even worse on the international landscape. You only need to spend a few minutes on a news website or cable television channel to see the violence, destruction, and persecution that is dealt to religious minorities around the globe.

As we approach our annual Religious Liberty Sabbath – that’s January 25, 2014 ­– We thought it would be helpful provide some tools for highlighting and protecting religious freedom in your local church and community.

Your first tool in a religious liberty campaign is knowledge. Take time to educate yourself and your members on the very real threats to religious liberty. Become a frequent visitor to the Liberty Magazine website, where each issue is published in its entirety. “Like” the Liberty and NARLA Facebook pages, and repost stories from their feeds. Start following Liberty, as well as the International Religious Liberty Association, on Twitter: @Liberty_Mag and @IRLA_USA. Those resources will keep you abreast of religious liberty developments as they occur.

Your second tool in a religious liberty campaign is to establish relationships with individuals and offices that affect change in your community. Join your local clergy organization and establish relationships with your area’s fellow spiritual leaders. Make them aware of any religious liberty situations in the community, and partner together for shared causes. Work with your congregation’s religious liberty leader to hold a Liberty subscription drive, and encourage church members to identify and sponsor subscriptions for community decision makers. Hand deliver the first issue of the sponsored subscription, or include a letter introducing yourself, your church, and the magazine.

Your third tool in a religious liberty campaign is to hold a religious liberty rally during the Religious Liberty Campaign season (January – March). Or, work with your conference or union religious liberty director and other nearby congregations to develop a larger religious liberty festival. Invite community leaders to attend, and highlight any work they’ve done to preserve religious freedom or the separation between church and state. Ask church members who have experienced discrimination or persecution because of their religious beliefs to share their story. Lead a prayer vigil for those who are currently unable to publicly practice or share their faith, and for those who are imprisoned for doing just that.

The God in heaven who created us is the originator of freedom of belief. He never forces His will on us. He never impedes our ability to choose to serve Him, or not. May the tools we shared with you today help maintain freedom of conscience in your community.

Melissa Reid is associate editor for Liberty Magazine