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In The News


In The New
News Alert

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., showed a heightened interest and concern for religious freedom in the United States at a Tuesday event hosted by the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs in Washington, D.C. Warren spoke about the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate and other religious freedom issues.
Warren's concerns about religious freedom grew partly out of his work in developing countries. In most of the world, Warren said, social services, such as health care and job training programs, are commonly provided by churches. If the Catholic Church were taken out of Africa, 27 percent of the continent's health care would also be removed, he explained to the audience at Georgetown, a Catholic university.
"The audacity of the government telling the Church how to do health care - we've been doing it longer than any government!" Warren complained.

Even though he is not opposed to the use of contraceptives, he said he stands "in 100 percent solidarity with my Catholic brothers and sisters to practice what they believe."

Christians need to repent, Warren added, for not standing up for the religious freedom of non-Christians in the past, such as when there were attempts to ban a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He noted that he also opposes attempts to ban Muslims from wearing head scarves in schools and Jews from being able to circumcise their children. If there were an attempt to require Jewish deli's to carry pork, Warren said, he "would be out front, picketing with that rabbi, willing to go to jail with that rabbi."

Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, an advocacy organization that promotes religious freedom, was at the speech and impressed with what he heard. "America's most influential evangelical pastor has taken an unequivocal position on the importance of preserving our first freedom, the freedom of religion. My hope is that Warren's leadership will inspire many more evangelical pastors to be courageous voices on this crucial issue," Teetsel told The Christian Post.

Warren has a unique vantage point from which to speak about religious liberty, Guinness explained, because of his "wealth of experience" gained from the many social welfare ministries he has been involved in. "And, you can see today, the [Obama]administration is killing the goose that lays the golden egg."

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