US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A reminder about real religious persecution

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

On Tuesday it was announced that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will be honored with the 2013 William Wilberforce Award from the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, for his vocal work against the administration’s requirement as part of the Affordable Care Act that contraception is covered in health insurance plans.

The Center says that Dolan’s arguments “served as a rallying cry for people of faith fighting to preserve their God-given and constitutional right to the free exercise of religion."

Just a few days before this announcement, a piece at from Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, offered a take on what real religious persecution looks like around the world. The article starts with the story of a woman in North Korea who was shot and killed because she kept a Bible in her home.

In the face of this reality, it remains difficult to appreciate claims like those from the Chuck Colson Center that, “Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is leading a modern-day journey of defiance, guiding the Christian faithful across the country to stand against unjust laws that marginalize their beliefs.” Especially since that the Obama administration has made multiple modifications to the law to accommodate the religious liberty concerns that people such as Dolan voiced regarding the health care law.

Giving Dolan this award seems as good a time as any to heed Shea’s words: “We must raise our voices for those facing the executioner’s sword, detention camps, or other atrocities for their beliefs, just as we do for other human rights victims.”