April 6, 2011
For Immediate Release
|Dr. Joseph K. Grieboski, founder and chairman of the Board for the Institute of Religion and Public Policy, spoke at CU’s chapel service, April 6. (Campbellsville University Photo by Emily Campbell)|
By Christina Miller, office assistant
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— “Seventy percent of the global population faces religious persecution,” Dr. Joseph K. Grieboski, founder and chairman of the Board for The Institute of Religion and Public Policy, said.
Grieboski spoke at Campbellsville University’s weekly chapel service and at Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP).
He said 200 million Christians every day face that persecution. “To put that into perspective, that is two-thirds of the U.S. population,” he said.
Grieboski defined a martyr as “one who faces oppression and tyranny simply because of their faith. They stand up for what they believe in—for the faith in Jesus Christ.”
Within the last month, a friend of his from Pakistan joined that group— after eating breakfast and praying with his mother, he was shot 50 times…he became a martyr.
“He was gunned down in front of his mother because he chose to stand up for this faith,” Grieboski said of his friend, who was the only Christian in the Pakistani cabinet.
“More people died for their faith in the 20th century than in all previous 19 centuries combined,” he said.
“Freedom of religion is also freedom of belief,” he said. “If I don’t have freedom, I can’t speak about my beliefs and I can’t write about my beliefs… Out of religious liberty flows all other rights; without it there are no other rights.”
The first 16 words of the First Amendment are all about freedom of religion laws. “It is American legal conceptualism that our founding fathers knew religious liberty was the most important,” Grieboski said.
But Grieboski has never been able to grasp why this is still happening in the world today.
He said with the commitment of the American people, change could occur. “We cannot look at religious liberty as a cultural issue—it’s not American, it’s human. The pursuit of truth is global.”
Grieboski said paying closer attention and writing to members of Congress can begin a revolution of change for religious liberty in other countries. “Pray that we have strength to stand for and stand with those people—those willing to die for that greater than themselves. Protect those who do not have what we have.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.