December 2007

 

Christmas 2006

Dear Friend,

God's Remnant has always needed advocates. Christmas celebrates the birth of our Advocate before the Father, Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1). About 700 years before his birth, Isaiah, whose name means "The Lord saves," described the Remnant's very bleak situation:

Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. Isaiah 59:14-16

Isaiah's words are as descriptive of the challenges facing the Remnant today as they were in Isaiah's time. Consider the lead stories of two major British newspapers during my recent visit toLondon with Sam Casey, the Executive Director of Christian Legal Society. They show the stark challenges facing believers today in England and Scotland .

  • Christian university groups have been tossed off at least 6 campuses. At EdinburghUniversity, copies of the Bible are banned from the residence halls. The lessons learned in our 30-year equal access battle in the US protecting students' religious speech are on point in the UK. Three hours after arriving in London, Sam and I "just happened" to meet Andrea Williams, the students' British lawyer, who was flying to Edinburgh that evening! The Times tells the rest of the story.
  • The day the Daily Mail ran its lead story, "Doctors to Face Prison for Denying Right to Die," Sam and I spent 5 hours with a leading advocate for life in England. The lessons learned around the globe are very applicable to the UK debate at this time.

And the day that I received an email from Nazareth about the proposed mandatory curriculum on religion for schools in Israel, the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance "just happened" to be in Jerusalem. My letter is on the back.

Thank you for enabling The Advocate's advocates to be a global voice for the Remnant. We wish you a joyous celebration of our Advocate's birth, while...

Living in His-Story,

Samuel E. Ericsson
Founder & President

P.S. A close friend will match your generous year-end gift dollar-for-dollar!

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Read the article from the UK's Daily Mail
Read the article from The Times (UK)

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December 5, 2006

Professor Yael (Yuli) Tamir
Minister of Education
The Knesset
Jerusalem , Israel

Subject: Proposed Curriculum on Religion for Israel's Public and Private Schools

Dear Dr. Tamir,

Advocates International is a global network informally linking 30,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and students. Founded in 1991, Advocates' initial goal was to help build civil societies and the rule of law in former communist nations and promote religious freedom for all. Advocates' activities in the international legal community around the world have grown far beyond our initial expectations. It now links law professionals in 130 nations who promote the rule of law, religious freedom, human rights, conflict resolution and professional ethics. The cornerstone of Advocates' public policy seeks to implement the Golden Rule so that all individuals and groups are treated with the dignity and respect that they expect from others.

Although Advocates' network includes professionals from the four major Christian traditions - Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical, Protestant and Roman Catholic - the vast majority identify as Evangelicals. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, there are an estimated 420 million Evangelicals globally and 120 national alliances. The Evangelical Community in the USA, with an estimated 50 million adherents, is second in size to the Roman Catholic Church.

We are aware of the concern expressed by members of Israel's Evangelical Community as to the content of the proposed new curriculum on compulsory Christian religious studies in Israel's school system. For some unexplained reason, the Evangelical Community, whose numbers have grown considerably since the establishment of the State of Israel, was not included in the discussions relating to the new curriculum. As a result, the proposed curriculum contains material that contradicts core Evangelical beliefs and, therefore, would be unacceptable to a large percentage of those students, their families and communities who would be affected by it.

We respectfully request that you and the Ministry of Education invite comments by members of Israel's Evangelical Community as to the proposed curriculum so that no religious tradition will be stigmatized and the issues resolved. We thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

Samuel E. Ericsson, JD, DLitt
President

Cc. Ms. Rauda Karyani, Department of Planning & Developing Educational Programs
John Langlois, Chairman, Religious Liberty Commission of World Evangelical Alliance
Chairpersons for Advocates International and Advocates Africa, Advocates Asia, Advocates Europe and Advocates Latin America