InterVarsity Supports Religious Freedom

Students on campus
November 30, 2016

For Immediate Release

(Madison, WI) -- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, which has over 1,000 student-led chapters on campuses across the U.S., has joined with other Christian campus ministry organizations in a statement denouncing attacks on Muslim student organizations and students and committing to speaking out against future attacks.

“The First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty includes all religious individuals and campus organizations,” the statement says. “Every group should be able to exist on campus and express their religious faith without fear.” 

“We denounce the increase in on-campus attacks against Muslim students and campus organizations,” said Greg Jao, InterVarsity’s vice president for campus engagement. “As Christian campus ministries, we believe Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. In the same way we would stand with a student organization being targeted because of its Christian faith commitments, we are committed to speaking out when Muslim student organizations are being targeted because of their faith.

InterVarsity believes loving our neighbor on campus includes respectfully engaging in inter-religious dialogue to support greater understanding, such as a recent event InterVarsity co-sponsored at McDaniel College in Maryland, while still retaining the distinctives of our Christian faith. InterVarsity students at Ohio State University also responded with a message of hope and healing that was embraced by some Muslim students, after a recent attack on campus and InterVarsity students at Baruch College have engaged in inter-faith dialogue with Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu student groups. At Pierce College, InterVarsity students help maintain a prayer room that is open to all faiths.

In addition to InterVarsity, groups signing the statement include: Christian Legal Society, Navigators, Chi Alpha, Coalition for Christian Outreach, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and Young Life.

 

Complete Statement:

Evangelical Campus MinistryStatement to Muslim Campus Groups

Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).

Our commitment to religious liberty requires us to speak out when religious people or groups are targeted because of their beliefs or practices, whether by the government or by other Americans. The First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty includes all religious individuals and campus organizations.

We long for campus environments where religious students and groups are respected and protected as valued members of a diverse campus community.

In recent days, we have read several reports of Muslim students being physically attacked on campus and have heard reports of Muslim Student Association property being vandalized.

As leaders of evangelical Christian campus ministries, we denounce acts of violence against Muslim students and Muslim campus organizations like those affiliated with Muslim Student Association National and Muslim Student Association-West.

When any of us experience acts of religiously-motivated threats, discrimination, or exclusion, as Muslim campus communities currently face, we will speak out. Every group should be able to exist on campus and express their religious faith without fear.

E. Scott Martin

Executive Director

Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, USA

David Nammo

Chief Executive Officer

Christian Legal Society

 

Christian Legal Society logo

David Stevens

Chief Executive Officer

Christian Medical and Dental Societies

 

CMDA logo

Vincent J. Burens

President & CEO

Coalition for Christian Outreach

 

Gregory L. Jao

Vice President/Campus Engagement

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

 

InterVarsity logo

Ken Larson

Collegiate Director

The Navigators

 

Navigators logo

Newt Crenshaw

President

Young Life

Young Life logo

 

 

 

For more information from InterVarsity
Greg Jao
Vice President and Director of Campus Engagement
gjao@intervarsity.org
917/572-1779 (mobile)