Christian Group: Pro-Life Advocates Faced Attacks, Discrimination in 2009
by Steven Ertelt
January 5, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Christian group that advocates for the free speech and other rights of Christians says pro-life advocates were among the victims of attacks and violence during 2009. Two specific incidents made the top 10 list the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) compiled.
The group released its list of the top ten incidents of anti-Christian defamation, bigotry and discrimination in the US from last year. The subscribers to CADC’s e-mail list compiled the list from among 20 top stories.
"It is arguable that anti-Christian hatred has spilled over into material forms of persecution in 2009," said Dr. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.
"Christians were killed and bullied for their witness, ministers and churches threatened with violence and vandalized," Cass told LifeNews.com on Tuesday. If these are not bona fide examples of persecution, than I wonder what more it might take?"
The Christian group placed the murder of pro-life advocate James Pouillon at number five on its top 10 list of discrimination and violence.
Pouillon was shot and killed in front of his granddaughter’s high school for showing the truth about abortion.
A Michigan man who was unhappy that Pouillon would protest abortion outside the school and use graphic pictures to do so shot him. Pouillon was shot multiple times by alleged gunman Harlan Drake while protesting abortion outside Owosso High School.
Sara Edwards, the chief assistant prosecutor for Shiawassee County, has confirmed that Pouillon’s pro-life stance was the reason he was targeted and said the suspect officials have in custody disapproved of his abortion protests outside the schools.
There was some displeasure with how open he was, she said. He tended to carry big signs with very graphic pictures of fetuses.
Coming in at number ten, the CADC noted that Reverend Walter Hoye of Oakland, California was jailed for exercising peaceful, pro-life speech.
Hoye became a hero to pro-life advocates across the country for not letting a local ordinance that targeted him prevent him from helping women at a local abortion center find alternatives.
The pro-life African-American pastor began serving a 30-day jail sentenced for sharing a pro-life message outside abortion centers in March. Hoye was previously found guilty of violating what pro-life attorneys call an unconstitutional new city law designed specifically to target him.
Oakland officials had enacted the law, which has been heavily criticized as curtailing free speech rights. The ordinance prohibits contact within eight feet of women entering abortion businesses without their consent.
Hoye also received three years probation, paid a $1,000 fine and a $130 restitution fee, and was ordered to stay 100 feet away from any abortion center in the city of the Oakland.
Appeals in the case are still pending in court as Hoye gets help from pro-life attorneys challenging both the sentence and the law.
"If you are reading this email then it can only mean that I have been incarcerated," he told LifeNews.com in an email sent by his attorneys. "I will be back. Thank you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always."
Allison Aranda, an attorney for the Life Legal Defense Foundation, told LifeNews.com, It is absolutely incredible that in America an individual can be sentenced to jail for engaging in peaceful free speech activity on a public sidewalk."
The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission also cited as number two on its list the appointments by pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
His making pro-abortion advocate Kathleen Sebelius the Secretary of Human and Health Services, and pro-abortion Chai Feldblum his nominee for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will further the discrimination of Christians, the group contends.
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