Recently representatives of various denominations and ecumenical groups met in New York with Mahmoud Ahmandinejad, President of Iran. The stated purpose was to forge religious and humanitarian ties between the people of Iran and the United States. How do you feel about such meetings?



 



 



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August 2007 Issue of Faith & Freedom Now Online 

 


STRANGE YOKEFELLOWS
The National Council of Churches and its Growing Non-Church Constituency
 



"It is incredibly sad to me that my church no longer wants me in it. When Bishop Schori was elected, I think all orthodox Episcopalians were given the message to 'get out.'"   (more)


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Home > About IRD > Purpose Statement

Purpose Statement

Reforming the Churches to Renew Democracy

The Institute on Religion and Democracy is

  • an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians
     
  • working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic teachings,
     
  • thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.

 

The Institute on Religion and Democracy is:

 

  •  an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians
     
    • We reflect genuine biblical ecumenism, that is, unity across denominational boundaries based on a shared belief in the truth of Christian orthodoxy.
       
    • This includes mainline and other evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox Christians working together in common cause.

 

  • working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings
     
    • Convinced that a personal faith in Christ is never private, but has public implications, we encourage strong churches and denominations that will take their faith into the public square.
       
    • We propose social witness policies that are in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings along with strategies to implement those policies.
       
    • When it is necessary, we oppose social witness policies that are out of accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings or that make excessive and unjustified claims to scriptural and traditional authority.
       
    • Our policy proposals and critiques are based on the best scholarship available.  This reflects our role as a Washington based policy institute.
       
    • The communications and educational materials we produce for Christian leaders and congregations outside of the Washington policy community are lucid, accessible, and practical.  This reflects our role as an activist and educational organization serving the churches.
       
    • We recognize that on many issues (e.g.: immigration, tax policy, and welfare reform) that there is no definitive Christian position, but that biblical and historic Christian teachings nonetheless inform policies.

 

  • thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.
     
    • We work toward the restoration of the role of religion in giving moral definition and direction to public life and policy.
       
    • This includes outreach to policy makers in Washington and to Christian leaders in their churches and denominations.
       
    • “It is our purpose to illuminate the relationship between Christian faith and democratic governance. It is also our purpose to oppose policies and programs in the churches which ignore or deny that relationship.” (from “Christianity and Democracy”)
       
    • The work of the IRD will continue to focus on both domestic policy and foreign policy, especially the international issues of human rights and religious freedom, two cornerstones of democratic society.