The House of Representatives is considering legislation that would deny faith-based charities — whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or another religion — their fundamental right to hire people who share their faith if they receive federal grants to run programs serving the poor.
Should this type of legislation pass, the poorest populations here in the United States and around the world will suffer as services to them would be severely diminished.
Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., explains, “Too much is at stake — especially among the tens of millions who receive help, care and support from faith-based charities.”
“Our nation needs religious charities. For decades, we have relied on and benefitted from religious charities receiving federal grants. There is no good reason — nor a compelling legal justification — to jeopardize those organizations and, more importantly, the people they serve.”
This right to hire people of shared faith is founded on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed 46 years ago by President Lyndon Johnson. Moreover, in 1972, Congress clarified that this right extends to every position in a religious organization. And, the law that guarantees this opportunity for faith-based groups — whether schools, associations, or organizations — does not violate the separation of church and state, according to a unanimous 1987 Supreme Court ruling.
Long before Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush moved into the White House, all three branches of the U.S. government upheld the opportunity for faith-based nonprofit organizations to be treated equally with secular groups in competing for federal funds and to continue hiring employees who share their faith.
Learn more about World Vision’s Christian identity and hiring practices.
Read our press release for additional information.
You can also view a copy of a letter from more than 100 religious organizations, delivered to every member of the House and Senate, urging Congress to not support pending legislation that would deny religious charities receiving federal grants their fundamental right to hire people who share their faith.