Date: June 26, 2012
USA (MNN) ― In some places in the United State, it's getting more difficult for Americans to freely exercise their faith in Christi. Many places across the country are taking action against Christians for praying in public, or praying in Jesus' name.
Case in point -- Pastor Terry Sartain. According to Fox News, he's been ministering to police officers in Charlotte, North Carolina for the past seven years. When he prayed at the request of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, he prayed in "the name of Jesus."
But he can't do that anymore.
Volunteer chaplains in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will no longer be allowed to invoke the name of Jesus in prayers at public events held on government property. Major John Diggs heads up the chaplain program. He says it respects people of all faiths.
Sartain, the pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship, was scheduled to give an invocation at a promotion ceremony. Before the event, he received a telephone call from his superior major telling him not to pray in Jesus' name on government property. It's something he's done consistently at department events.
Sartain says he's sad that as a pastor he can't give the one thing he has to offer: the life and person of Christ.
In an interview with Fox News, he said, "It brings about a very real concern about where we are heading as a nation. I serve a God who loves people unconditionally, who died for their sins on the cross, who wants to reconcile Himself to them and love them where they are. And now I'm told I can't bless people as a result of that."
The police department wanted him to deliver a "secular prayer." Sartain said he didn't know there was such a thing. He says it's apparent that "Christians, for the most part, are targeted in these days that we exist in...we want the same rights and privileges as everybody else," he said. "Let the playing field remain level."
As Independence Day approaches July 4th, pray that God would remind Americans about their freedoms. Pray also that Christians will be bold in their witness of Christ in and around their neighborhoods.