NEWS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2007
Repent America Decries U.S. Justice
PHILADELPHIA, Pa., May 29/Covenant News Wire Service/ -- Repent America (RA) has learned from a law enforcement official that the U.S. Department of Justice has been using its ministry as an example of a Christian "fundamentalist hate group" because of its Biblical opposition to homosexuality during its law enforcement "mediation and conflict resolution" training classes.
On Thursday, May 24, 2007, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), which operates 14 publicly-owned universities, manages approximately 300 police officers, and oversees over 100,000 students, hosted a mandatory class entitled "Mediation and Conflict Resolution Skills for Law Enforcement" at its central headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The class is part of a police training series under the direction of the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, which is provided at different times to PASSHE police officers.
During this class, Timothy Johnson, Sr. Conciliation Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, falsely characterized "Repent America" as a Christian "fundamentalist hate group" and had law enforcement officials participate in a role-playing activity to illustrate this point. Johnson directed a number of police officers to stage a campus dramatization before the class between a mock Repent America evangelism team and a group of upset homosexuals. While these officers were role-playing the two groups, another officer was instructed to “mediate the conflict” by removing the Christians, instead of affirming their constitutional rights to be on a public campus. The removal instruction was because the homosexuals were hurt and offended by the Biblical message of repentance and call to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same dramatization occurred on at least one other occasion before a previous training class.
"When I learned of what happened from a police officer who was in attendance and witnessed the dramatization, I was quite taken aback," Repent America director Michael Marcavage stated. “It is absolutely astounding that federal government officials are now openly classifying Christians who publicly speak the truth of God's Word as 'haters' and wrongfully training law enforcement to remove them from the public square for their obedience to the Great Commission. This truly is a wake up call to the church in America,” Marcavage said. "This remarkable example of government participation in anti-Christian discrimination shows just how aggressively the war is being waged against Christianity, where now our so-called Justice Department is actively working to silence God's people," he continued. "This alarming development provides even more reason why Christians should be vigorously opposing 'hate crime' laws, which seek to criminalize Christians for their thoughts and beliefs," Marcavage concluded.
Repent America has recently conducted evangelism outreaches on a number of PASSHE school campuses, including West Chester University, Kutztown University, East Stroudsburg University, and Millersville University. Last month, Kutztown University police wrongfully removed Repent America from the public campus and criminally charged two of its team members for sharing the Gospel with students during the school's participation in a nationwide "Day of Silence" event sponsored by the "Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)." Criminal and civil actions are now pending.
In January of 2005, leading Internet news site WorldNetDaily reported that a "[U.S.] Justice Department employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity," stated that members of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in October of 2004 "attended a large homosexual event in Philadelphia" and "advised police on the scene" during the arrest of eleven Christians with Repent America. These Christians, who became known as the "Philadelphia Eleven", were charged under Pennsylvania's "hate crimes" law, and faced up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines each for their ministry efforts at the event. The charges were later dismissed as being without merit.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matthew 5:11)
P.O. Box 30000
Philadelphia, PA. 19103
1-800-3-REPENT, Ext. 5
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