Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights says “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion”; “freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom”; and “freedom to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This declaration is intended to foster people to live in peace and harmony. Followers of Christ have a much higher authority than this U.N. declaration; yet it is refreshing to see how our Lord spoke in favor of this very principle—freedom to accept the Good News as well as the right to proclaim it. Jesus scolded the religious leaders in His day because they tried to stop Him from sharing Kingdom News and control what people believed. We read in Matthew 23: “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.” Followers of Christ respect the right of all people to choose the God they will serve; but we respect equally the freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ as God’s chosen prophet, priest, and King.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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