‘Maintain Social Order’
Acton Institute Powerblog

‘Maintain Social Order’

In a move that sets a dangerous precedent in an already muddled area, U.S. immigration officials revoked the asylum of a Chinese Christian who had been imprisoned for organizing underground church meetings. The INS decision was upheld last month by an Appeals court panel. Here’s an in-depth story from Christianity Today.

Ann Buwalda, founder and executive director of human-rights group Jubilee Campaign USA, said that the ruling “Essentially…removed religion as a basis of gaining asylum.” The U.S. government’s contention was that when China imprisoned Xiaodong Li “for engaging in illicit religious activities, China was simply motivated by a desire to maintain social order, not persecute based on his religious beliefs.”

The idea of maintaining social order by sharply restricting and heavily regulating religious worship and activity strikes me as a thoroughly Hobbesian notion (see post below).

HT: Persecution Blog

Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.