Conservative Christians Grapple With Whether ‘Religious Freedom’ Includes Muslims

Religious liberty is a rallying cry for many evangelical voters, and it has been popping up repeatedly throughout this presidential campaign. But in the current political climate, some conservative Christians are struggling with how to apply religious freedom to other faiths — like Islam.

gettyimages-511417216_wide-9ca339f29729234d10067f665d79b4b12b43a004-s800-c85Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made religious freedom a hallmark of his failed campaign for the Republican nomination. Now, presumptive nominee Donald Trump is picking up the theme.

On June 21, in a room full of evangelical leaders in New York City, Trump again promised to protect religious freedom. The presumptive GOP nominee said if he’s elected, “people are going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

For decades, fights over religious liberty in the U.S. have mostly been about the religious liberties of Christians. Evangelicals have rallied around issues like prayer in public schools, and more recently, whether conservative Christian vendors should be required by law to provide services for same-sex weddings.

But now, as the nation’s small but growing Muslim population gains a higher profile, other questions are emerging, including debates in several communities over the right to build mosques.

“I would like to know how in the world someone within the Southern Baptist Convention can support the defending of rights for Muslims to construct mosques in the United States when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans?” Wofford said. “They are murdering Christians, beheading Christians, imprisoning Christians all over the world.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM NPR 

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