As our nation emerges from its political winter doldrums, Dr. Michael Youssef is urging Americans to awaken from their slumber and demand the respect for their religious freedoms as described in the First Amendment of our Constitution.
In his new book, Hope for This Present Crisis, Youssef boldly confronts the problem of the American government's denial of the people's First Amendment right of "the free exercise of religion" during the current pandemic, the misapplication of the right "peaceably to assemble" by unlawful protesters and the misinterpretation of the right of freedom of the press to allow for suppressing the truth.
"When politicians talk about our freedoms, they often use the phrase 'freedom of worship' instead of the First Amendment term, the 'free exercise of religion,'" Youssef writes. "Do the specific words matter? Yes, they do.
"'Freedom of worship' means you are free to worship inside your church any way you choose. Many politicians, judges and secular left activists want you to keep your religion behind the church doors, or no one else can see or hear it. They do not want you talking about your faith in the classroom, on campus or in a public park. They do not want to see you praying or singing Christian songs in front of a government building.
"That is why the precise wording on the First Amendment is so important. It guarantees the 'free exercise of religion,' not just 'freedom of worship.'"
Youssef's solution to this many-faceted problem related to the First Amendment involves the following steps, among others:
- Know your rights. Read the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Learn about the history of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Understand what the Constitution does and does not protect.
- Defend the rights of others. If someone has been unfairly attacked or silenced, speak up for that person. Speak out against injustice.
- Pray for boldness—and discernment. There is a time to speak out and a time to hold your peace. Pray for courage and wisdom to speak boldly in defense of God's truth. Then speak the words He gives you to speak.
- Pray for young Christians in the media. For those who are parents, teachers, youth leaders or pastors, and know young people who are in media, be an influential mentor to them. Cover them in prayer—they will need it. Support them as they seek to become salt and light in an increasingly dark and corrosive industry.
Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. He founded The Church of The Apostles, which was the launching pad for Leading The Way's international ministry. Youssef has authored more than 40 books, including popular titles like Jesus, Jihad and Peace and Saving Christianity?
Youssef is the host of the popular TV and radio broadcast Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, which airs more than 13,000 times every week across six continents in 26 languages—reaching audiences in nearly every major city in the world. His programs attract tens of millions of viewers weekly in the U.S. on major TV networks, including TBN, Daystar, Fox Business, Lifetime, GOD TV, CTN, NRB TV and more.
Equipped with a keen understanding of the Bible, the Middle East, sociological trends in the Western world and popular Christian worldview issues, Youssef is a sought-after voice whose expertise is regularly requested on both secular and Christian media, including Huckabee, Fox & Friends, Eric Metaxas, The Hugh Hewitt Show, The Christian Post, Fox News, Hannity, Glenn Beck, The 700 Club and more. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and 10 grandchildren.
Hope for This Present Crisis is published by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma House.
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