Family Research Council President Tony Perkins says the hostility against people of faith in America is directly tied to rising persecution of Christians around the world.
Appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File,
" Perkins cited the case of 27-year-old Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a Sudanese Christian sentenced to hang
because she married a Christian.
Ishag was raised Christian by her mother, but her absent father was Muslim. The Muslim Sudanese government convicted her of adultery and apostasy under sharia religious law because she married a Christian.
Ishag recently gave birth in prison, and a judge said she will be given 100 lashes and hanged once her newborn is weaned.
Ishag's husband is an American citizen, which would make her newborn and 20-month-old Americans as well. Calls have been made to have Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson grant all three refugee status so they could come to the United States.
"At one time it meant something to be an American citizen. It meant no matter where you were, no matter what you faced, you were not alone," Perkins told Kelly.
He also noted American pastor Saeed Abedini
, who has been jailed in Iran for more than a year for practicing his Christian faith during a mission trip.
"We are seeing, I think, a direct correlation between this increasing religious hostility here at home by the hands of our own government and this rising persecution abroad, mainly of Christians," Perkins said.
Perkins did not elaborate on how American Christians are being persecuted by the government, but the Family Research Center's website lists recent court rulings
forcing Christian photographers and bakeries to provide services to same-sex weddings even when doing so goes against their religious beliefs, and mandates under Obamacare that insurance plans must provide contraception, even when a company providing the insurance opposes it on religious grounds.
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