Religious Persecution by Secular Authorities - Ecumenical Opportunity?

In the 1800’s, my Lutheran forefathers emigrated from Prussia because the secular authorities were attempting to dictate what they could (and could not) preach and believe. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened in this country.

But what’s going on in Houston isn’t far off. Some pastors who are not even party to the lawsuit going on between citizens and the city government have been subpoenaed. They must submit all correspondence, including sermons, for the city to review. Simply put: this is a secular inquisition.

On one hand, this is rather terrifying. A country that espouses freedom of speech and maintains a distinct separation between Church and State should not allow the State to meddle in the Church. On the other hand, this public witch-hunt provides a new audience for those sermons. Not to mention, we Christians could do with a little persecution. After all, it’s what Christ promised us in this life. “In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! for I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33.

Houston isn’t the only place where religious belief is under attack. The seal of the confessional is threatened in Louisiana, and consciences have been challenged with the HHS Mandate. Western society -once a safe haven for Christianity- has taken a seemingly hostile stance toward religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular.

My questions are not just for Americans - I’d appreciate hearing from folks in other countries, too.

*]How has your church/ecclesial body/place of worship responded to these attacks?
*]How have you personally responded?
*]Is this an opportunity to work together with other religious communities?
*]If yes, how so?
*]If no, why not?

I wouldn’t go close to saying this is a failing of the establishment clause. There is a big difference between the games lawyers play in court and the court allowing such a subpoena, which appears to be disallowed by Texas law anyway. If it’s the city ordinance you are worried about, it already has a provision exempting churches.

Yes I do believe it is an opportunity for ecumenical opportunity.
I have always believed that the pro-life, pro family movement has brought together
Conservative protestants and evangelicals, Roman Catholicx, Orthodox, ect.
My husband and I are fairly active in our local pro life community and through the many Catholic friend we met there it has started us looking at the Catholic church.

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