Posts by jaysekulow

ACLJ: American Pastor Speaks From Iranian Prison - Facing "Death Threats" - "Horrific Pressures"- "Violence" - "Psychological Warfare"

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional and human rights law, said today American Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen facing a lengthy prison sentence in Iran because of his Christian faith – is speaking out in a letter from prison where he says he's facing "horrific pressures," acknowledging continuing physical and psychological abuse – including troubling "death threats."

In his first letter since his conviction and sentence in January, the 32-year-old Pastor Saeed says the conditions inside Evin Prison are "so very difficult that my eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky." Pastor Saeed also says he is facing significant pressure to recant his Christian faith.

"The torture, the beatings, the death threats never end," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed's wife and children who reside in the U.S. "The Iranians continue to do everything they can to break Pastor Saeed – both physically and psychologically. The abuse he continues to face is nothing less than brutal. It's our hope that this latest communication only intensifies efforts in this country and abroad to pressure Iran to release this U.S. citizen."

In the letter, posted here, Pastor Saeed said he knows that "he's not been forgotten" but also provides astonishing details about the abuse he faces: "Various (bullying) groups, the psychological warfare, a year of not seeing my family, physical violence, actions committed to humiliate me, insults, being mocked, being confronted with extremists in the prison who create another prison within the prison walls, and the death threats…"

Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, expressed her concern: "It is heart wrenching to hear of Saeed's continued abuse and torture in the Iranian prison. We have known for some time that he is facing physical and psychological abuse. Now our worst fears have been confirmed. He continues to face life-threatening abuse at the hands of the Iranian officials simply because of his faith in Jesus."

Naghmeh, who has been prohibited from speaking with her husband by phone, knows that what her husband calls the "dark house of Evin Prison" is taking a significant toll on him. "Our primary concern is for his health and well-being with each passing day. We know that while he is very weak physically, Saeed is strong in his faith. His situation is dire and with the continued abuse and death threats, we are not sure how long Saeed will survive these horrendous conditions in prison."

For the first time, Pastor Saeed confirmed that Iranian officials are trying to get him to recant his Christian faith – something that he says he will never do. "They are only waiting for one thing…for me to deny Christ," wrote Pastor Saeed. "But they will never get this from me."

Pastor Saeed said he continues to live out his faith in prison and despite facing what he calls "horrific pressures" that are sometimes "unbearable" – he offers encouragement to others who face difficult challenges. "Maybe you are also in such a situation, so pray and seek God that He would use you and direct you in the pressures and difficulties of your lives," Pastor Saeed wrote.    

The ACLJ, along with its European affiliate, filed a document last week with the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) calling on Iran to immediately release Pastor Saeed, citing Iran's violations of international law and human rights abuses.

Also last week, more than 80 members of Congress – in a strong bi-partisan move – sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry urging him to "exhaust every possible option to secure Mr. Abedini's immediate release."  The letter stated that "[a]s a U.S. citizen, Mr. Abedini deserves nothing less than the exercising of every diplomatic tool of the U.S. government to defend his basic human rights."

"This new letter from Pastor Saeed could not be more clear or direct – he continues to face life-threatening abuse simply because of his religious beliefs," said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow. "The letter also underscores the need to move quickly. A U.S. citizen is in failing health from beatings and abuse – a menacing scenario that should command the full attention and engagement of the U.S. government. It's our hope that Secretary Kerry will act without delay – doing all that can be done by the State Department to save this U.S. citizen."

As Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh put it: "The most important thing we can do is pray, continue to raise awareness of his case and continue to work for his freedom."

The ACLJ is working with the U.S. government, the United Nations, and the European Union to secure Pastor Saeed's freedom.

The ACLJ's #SaveSaeed campaign continues to gather momentum – as thousands upon thousands of people all over the world are tweeting, Facebooking, and signing our petition, which focuses on bringing additional international pressure on the Iranian government.

Led by ECLJ and ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. The ACLJ is online at aclj.org.


SOURCE from ACLJ

ACLJ & Wife Of American Pastor Imprisoned In Iran To Testify Before Congress

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, will testify Friday before a Congressional committee examining religious persecution and focusing on the plight of American Pastor Saeed Abedini , a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.

ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow , ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow , and Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, will testify March 15th before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House - a bi-partisan commission which is co-chaired by Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA). The commission exists to "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights norms in a nonpartisan manner, both within and outside of Congress, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments."

"We have seen tremendous support from more than 100 members of Congress who understand the growing problem of religious persecution and have called for the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini ," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "This hearing represents a significant opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed's plight and to encourage our State Department and White House to engage this case at the highest levels. For a U.S. citizen to be facing years in one of Iran's most deadly prisons - beaten and abused daily - simply because of his Christian faith – is unconscionable. We're grateful for the opportunity to present Pastor Saeed's case and stand up for the human rights and religious freedom of those who are facing similar situations because of their faith."

The ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh and their two children who reside in the U.S., has launched a global effort - including presenting testimony before the U.N. Human Rights Council - in an effort secure his freedom. Nearly 450,000 people already have signed on to our petition demanding his release.

The hearing on Friday, March 15, 2013, is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public and the news media. Additional details about the hearing can be found here.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. The ACLJ is online at aclj.org.

MEDIA  CONTACTS:
For Print: Gene Kapp  (757) 575-9520
For Broadcast:  Chandler Epp or Alison Geist (770) 813-0000

SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice

ACLJ Calls for Release of Iranian-American Christian Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Because of his Religious Beliefs

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional and human rights law, announced today it is representing the wife of an Iranian-American pastor who is being held in an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith. Saeed Abedini, who converted to Christianity, has been indicted by an Iranian court and is facing formal charges that could result in a lengthy prison term or possibly even the death penalty. The ACLJ, which is providing legal representation for his U.S.-based family, is also launching an international campaign calling on the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, and Congress to demand the release of Pastor Saeed.
 
"This is a very troubling pattern that we have seen inside Iran - Christian husbands and fathers who are punished for their religious beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ. "What makes this particular case so much more disturbing is that Pastor Saeed, who was born and raised in Iran, has been granted U.S. citizenship. He's been in prison for nearly three months simply because of his Christian faith. Now, he’s been indicted by an Iranian court - a development that could very well result in a death sentence. In addition to our legal work, it's important to get this story out - to generate global support for Pastor Saeed and to engage the U.N. and the U.S. government in securing his release."
 
Pastor Saeed, 32, was granted U.S. citizenship in 2010 through marriage to his American wife. He and his wife, Naghmeh, have two children, a 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. In 2008, Pastor Saeed became an ordained minister with the American Evangelistic Association. Naghmeh and the children reside in the western U.S. The Iranian government does not recognize his U.S. citizenship and for 3 years he travelled freely back and forth from Iran until this summer when he was put under house arrest. He was imprisoned in September and this week an Iranian court indicted him on several charges, which have not been made public. In fact, the government has refused to notify Pastor Saeed, his attorney, or his family about what’s included in the specific charges. What’s clear is that Pastor Saeed is in prison because of his Christian faith and his desire to share the Gospel with others.
 
In a recent letter to his family from prison, Pastor Saeed said: "Prison is a test of faith. I was always worried that the storms of this life would break the ship of faith, but when you stand in the steadfast ship of faith, the storms are like a nice breeze. Nothing can break the ship of faith. These walls have created more fervor for me to love others through sharing the Gospel, but more than that, the walls have deepened my love for my Savior. I feel the prayers of all who are praying for me. I hope to one day meet each one of them face to face and embrace them in my arms." Pastor Saeed underwent a life-changing conversion from Islam to Christianity when he was 20 years old. He has been active in proclaiming his faith and sharing his religious beliefs for many years.
 
Pastor Saeed has been harassed by the Iranian government for more than a decade. He had faced numerous confrontations with the Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Intelligence police over the years and had been detained in the past. But his current imprisonment puts Pastor Saeed in grave danger. He had been held in solitary confinement before a recent move to a general prison ward. ACLJ sources confirm Pastor Saeed has been the victim of both physical and emotional abuse, and there is concern for his immediate state of health.
 
Naghmeh Panahi, Pastor Saeed's wife, told the ACLJ that this is a very difficult time for her family. "Our concern is growing with each passing day," Naghmeh said. "This is a very, very difficult time for our family. What is happening is hard to understand. During this season of our Savior’s birth, our family - including our two young children - cannot help but feel a huge gap in our midst. Memories of years past tear at our hearts as we desperately pray for Saeed to come home."
 
Just three months ago, the Iranian government - facing significant international pressure - released Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who spent nearly three years in prison because of his faith. The ACLJ launched a global online campaign to demand his freedom. More than 3-million people agreed to send one Tweet a day in our "Tweet for Youcef" campaign. Sadly, the Iranian attorney who fought for the freedom of Pastor Youcef has been imprisoned for representing him and other oppressed in Iran. Through Twitter, the ACLJ continues to call attention to his plight and demand his release.

In Pastor Saeed's case, the ACLJ is providing legal representation to his U.S.-based family and working with various contacts in Iran on his case. Further, the ACLJ is launching an international campaign urging the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and Congress to get involved and demand Pastor Saeed's release.
 
"We know that the Iranian government is sensitive to international pressure," said Sekulow. "We have seen that in the Pastor Youcef case. Now, we have an Iranian-born Christian, who holds a U.S. passport, being punished for his beliefs. Pastor Saeed's alleged crime: converting to Christianity and proclaiming his Christian faith. His imprisonment and indictment violates international human rights and religious freedom laws. That's why it is so critical to challenge this imprisonment both legally and in the court of public opinion around the world."
 
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.

SOURCE ACLJ

Jay Sekulow- The leader who fought all odds!

Mr. Jay Sekulow has long been branded as a lawyer par excellence and someone who has put the needs of his clients at his first priority. But there is something that most people don’t know about him.

It’s the fact that the man has put in a lot of struggle and hard work in the beginning of his career in order to reach the pinnacle of success, where he is now.

He has put his ‘cum laude’ from the Mercer University as well has his PhD from Regent University to appropriate use in his career. The excellence that he exhibits in every job that he takes up just shows his immense potential to reach great heights in his career.

His personal life also reflects stability. The way he and his lovely wife have raised two wonderful sons, shows how much he values family.

ACLJ: Wife of American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran "Very Encouraged" by Secretary of State Kerry's Statement Calling on Iran to Release..

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, said today it is pleased that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a public statement expressing concern for American Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith. The statement, issued late today while Secretary Kerry was travelling in the Middle East, calls on Iran to release Pastor Saeed immediately and comes after ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow called for Secretary Kerry to issue a public statement by today.

"We're very pleased that Secretary of State Kerry made this bold and public statement calling on Iran to release Pastor Saeed," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ. "By speaking out directly on behalf of Pastor Saeed, Secretary Kerry is taking our government's most aggressive action yet in working to secure the freedom of this U.S. citizen. We also appreciate Secretary Kerry calling attention to Pastor Saeed's worsening health. By becoming directly involved in this case, the U.S. sends a powerful message to Iran and our allies – our government will not stand by and abandon one of our own. By engaging the Pastor Saeed case at the highest level, we're hopeful that the State Department will now do everything in its power to secure the release of this U.S. citizen."

"I am very encouraged by Secretary Kerry's statement demanding Saeed's immediate release," said Naghmeh, Pastor Saeed's wife. "I am very happy to read that although Secretary Kerry has asked for medical treatment for Saeed, he does not stop there, and states that the best outcome is Saeed's immediate release. I hope to see more proactive actions from our government. Saeed and I are both proud to be Americans. I am hopeful that this will put more pressure on the Iranian government to act and free Saeed so he can return to our family in the United States."

Secretary Kerry's statement, posted here, comes just one day after the U.S. Ambassador Eileen C. Donahoe specifically cited Pastor Saeed's case at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva and called for his release. It comes one week after the State Department refused to participate in a hearing by the Congressional panel on Pastor Saeed's case.

The statement also comes as a new letter from Pastor Saeed describes the toll the torture and beatings on his health.

Pastor Saeed, 32, has been imprisoned since last fall and is serving an 8-year prison sentence in Evin Prison, one of Iran's most deadly prisons.  The ACLJ has been working in this country and abroad to secure his freedom and has heard from nearly 550,000 people demanding his release.

The ACLJ represents Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh and their two young children in the U.S.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. The ACLJ is online at aclj.org.

MEDIA  CONTACTS:
For Print: Gene Kapp  (757) 575-9520
For Broadcast:  Alison Geist (770) 813-0000

SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice

ACLJ Applauds Appeals Court Order Blocking Implementation of HHS Mandate on Behalf of MO Business Owner

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, today applauded an order by a federal appeals court granting a motion for a preliminary injunction – an order that temporarily blocks the implementation of the HHS mandate against a Missouri business owner.

The order, issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, is the first decision from an appeals court in the litigation challenging the HHS mandate.

The order, which puts the HHS mandate on hold pending the outcome of the appeals process, prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from requiring the business owner, who contends the mandate violates his constitutionally-protected religious beliefs, to comply with the mandate which requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

“By granting our motion, the appeals court blocks the implementation of the HHS mandate and clears the way for our lawsuit to continue – a significant victory for our client,” said Francis Manion, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “The order sends a message that the religious beliefs of employers must be respected by the government. We have argued from the beginning that employers like Frank O'Brien must be able to operate their business in a manner consistent with their moral values, not the values of the government. We look forward to this case moving forward and securing the constitutional rights of our client.”

The ACLJ represents Frank R. O'Brien and O'Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC  (OIH) - a holding company based in St. Louis, Missouri, which operates a number of businesses that explore, mine, and process refractory and ceramic raw materials.

In October, a federal district court judge granted the Obama Administration's Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit. The ACLJ immediately filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In an order issued today, the appeals court granted the ACLJ motion requesting an injunction pending an appeal.

The lawsuit, which was filed in March 2012, marked the first legal challenge to the HHS mandate from a private business owner and his company. Until the suit was filed, only religious organizations or institutions brought lawsuits challenging the mandate.

O'Brien, a Catholic, says his religious beliefs provide the framework for the operation of his businesses, which employ 87 people. The company website states the OIH mission "is to make our labor a pleasing offering to the Lord while enriching our families and society." OIH’s statement of the company's values begins with the following: "Integrity. Our conduct is guided by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. We will not discriminate based on anyone's personal belief system."

In addition to the O’Brien case, the ACLJ has filed two other direct challenges to the HHS mandate and filed amicus briefs backing other challenges in more than a dozen cases.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C.


SOURCE http://aclj.org

State Dept. Snubs Congressional Panel as ACLJ & Wife of American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Calls for More U.S. Involvement to Free U.S. Citizen

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, today testified before a Congressional committee examining religious persecution and called for more U.S. involvement in working to secure the freedom of American Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen – imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.

The testimony from ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow, and Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, came as the U.S. State Department snubbed the Congressional panel – refusing to send anyone to the hearing to testify.

“The State Department was AWOL today – absent without leave,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “The State Department’s refusal to testify at this critical hearing is offensive to the family of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen held hostage in one of Iran’s most deadly prisons. Instead of appearing before Congress and calling on Iran to release Pastor Saeed, the State Department’s no-show reflects a stunning lack of concern for an American wrongly imprisoned simply because of his Christian faith. Many nations – including the European Union – have highlighted Pastor Saeed’s case and called for his release before the U.N. Our government did not. With an opportunity to condemn Iran and demand his freedom on a global stage, the U.S. government never mentioned him at all – ignored the plight of a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran. And, today, at this vital hearing, the State Department was AWOL – they did not show up today. Pastor Saeed and his family deserve more from their government.”

The hearing occurred this morning before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House - a bi-partisan commission which is co-chaired by Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA).

ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow urged the lawmakers to encourage the White House and the State Department to do more to secure Pastor Saeed’s release.

“The fact that the State Department refused to send a representative to this hearing underscores the lack of concern and engagement by the Obama Administration in securing the freedom of a U.S. citizen,” said Jordan Sekulow. “Naghmeh came all the way from Idaho to give her testimony here today, but the State Department couldn’t send one person down the street to speak about Pastor Saeed’s case. We believe that there is a great deal more that our White House and State Department can and should do for Pastor Saeed. To date, there has been minimal involvement from the White House press secretary and a State Department spokesperson. Their brief statements have come only as responses to questions asked by reporters. There is no formal written statement from either the White House or the State Department condemning Iran and calling for Pastor Saeed’s release. Our President and Secretary of State should lend their voices personally to the growing chorus calling for Pastor Saeed’s release. The fact is that we are extremely disappointed with the level of engagement by the Obama Administration.”

The ACLJ represents Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children who live in the United States. In her testimony today, Naghmeh revealed the toll this ordeal is taking on her family.

“Saeed is a husband and amazing father,” she told the commission. “The kids and I miss him terribly. Our kids hold onto the hope of seeing their daddy very soon. The truth is we do not know if we will ever speak to him or see him again. Every day is a death sentence for him. Many mornings they wake up and start running around the house and in the yard. I ask them what they are doing and they say very disappointed ‘it must have been a dream. We saw daddy was home and he was going to twirl us around.’ I hold back my tears as I tell them that it was a dream. I still do not have the heart to tell them that if we don’t do anything, that daddy might never survive the horrific Evin prison. I do not have the heart to tell them of the 8 year sentence. I do hope we can work together to bring Saeed home and I will never have to tell my kids of the dire situation their father is in.”

Naghmeh also told the Commission her disappointment with the lack of involvement by the U.S. government. "I must tell you that I am disappointed with my government,” she said. “I am disappointed that our President and our State Department have not fully engaged this case – disappointed that this great country is not doing more to free my husband, a U.S. citizen. I expect more from our government. We should know that as American citizens, our government will stand up for us. I have been told that I have not requested the assistance of the State Department. That is not the case. I have pleaded many times for their help to free my husband. I continue to ask our government to bring my husband, my children's father, back home."

Following the testimony, Chairman Wolf said his Commission had been in touch with Secretary of State Kerry's office and will be formally requesting that someone designated by Secretary Kerry meet directly with Naghmeh soon to discuss her husband's plight.

The testimony from Jay Sekulow, Jordan Sekulow, and Naghmeh Abedini before today’s Congressional panel is available here. You can watch the complete hearing here.

Today’s testimony is the latest development in the ACLJ’s global effort – which includes presenting testimony before the U.N. Human Rights Council - in an effort secure Pastor Saeed’s freedom. At the same time, more than 500,000 people already have signed on to our petition demanding his release.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.


SOURCE ACLJ

Jay Sekulow- A respected defender of religious freedom!

A well-regarded defender of religious freedom and an expert judicial attorney, Mr. Jay Sekulow was born in Brooklyn, New York. Distinguished professor of Law and the Chief Counsel for American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), one of the most prestigious law firms in the United States, Mr. Sekulow completed both, graduation cum laude and a doctor of jurisprudence from Mercer University.

Later, Dr. Jay Alan Sekulow received Ph.D. from Regent University, authoring his dissertation on the subject of American Legal History.

Passionate for protecting religious freedom, freedom of speech and defending constitutional law, Jay also fought for people from other nations by establishing law firms: The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), The African Centre for Law and Justice in Zimbabwe, The Slavic Centre of Law and Justice (SCLJ) in Moscow, The East African Centre for Law and Justice in Kenya.

For his legal services, Mr. Sekulow has been honored with several awards: like he’s entitled to the National Law Journal’s Power List, and the American Lawyer’s Public Sector 45 list, to name a few.

Jay And Jordan Sekulow Announce Support For Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney today announced the support of Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice*.

“Jay and Jordan have been on the front lines fighting for conservatives – it is an honor to have their support,” said Mitt Romney. “On issues of great importance to me, including religious freedom and protecting human life, Jay and Jordan have been tireless leaders. I look forward to working with them to ensure that we can bring conservative change to Washington.”

“In order for conservatives to make the changes in Washington that we have been fighting for, we must first defeat President Obama and have a leader with a proven record of getting things done,” said Jay Sekulow. “Mitt Romney is the one candidate who can take his pro-growth message to the American people and defeat President Obama. Throughout his life, he has proven that he will not back down from difficult situations – fixing the mess that President Obama has left will not be easy.”

“Mitt Romney’s record as governor and vision for our country is one that conservatives should be proud to support,” said Jordan Sekulow. “He cut taxes, balanced budgets, and defended both traditional marriage and life in a politically difficult environment. Mitt Romney’s ability to defeat President Obama and enact conservative change is why I support him and so many conservatives are backing his campaign.”

Background on Jay and Jordan Sekulow

Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, and a respected broadcaster. Jay Sekulow is an attorney with a passion for protecting religious liberty, freedom, and democracy. For nearly a quarter of a century, he's been on the front lines - working to protect religious and constitutional freedoms in the courts, in Congress, and in the public arena. At the Supreme Court of the United States, Jay Sekulow has argued 12 cases - including several landmark cases which have become part of the legal landscape in the area of religious liberty litigation.

Jordan Sekulow is the Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice. He is the host of the Jordan Sekulow Show, a syndicated radio program that provides cutting analysis of today's political and legal landscape and regularly features elected officials and conservative leaders from across the U.S. and around the globe. He also serves as co-host, along with ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, of the Jay Sekulow Live! radio broadcast and the ACLJ This Week television broadcast. Jordan, an attorney, has an LL.M. from Georgetown Law Center and oversees the organization’s international offices.

Jay Sekulow - Not Like Anybody!

Jay Sekulow can undoubtedly be termed as “brilliant”. He is a man who has tried his hands on so many things that each of those can't be possibly listed. More than anything else, he's been working as an attorney. But he is not just another lawyer, he's the best of all! He has been in the news many times because of the cases he worked on.

This dynamic law enthusiast never limited his abilities to law – and has a successful radio/television call-in talk show about legal issues. Yes, he is a renowned radio host! His talk show is aired on as many as 850 stations.

The man is a guest commentator on FOX news channel, and hosts a TV show 'ACLJ This Week'. He, as a lawyer, is someone who is hard to argue with, and impossible to knock down.

Jay Sekulow has been awarded many times for what he does. To name a few honours, he has been added to National Law Journal’s Power List, in the year 1994 and recently was added to the list of 90 greatest lawyers of last 30 years (Washington) by Legal Times.

Source from http://jaysekulow.multiply.com/journal/item/33/

Jay Sekulow: Words of Encouragement for Pastor Youcef from the Kids

Millions of people around the globe are calling for the release of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who faces the death penalty in Iran because of his Christian faith.

As you already know, we continue to work in this country and abroad to secure his release. There are millions praying for his release from jail, where he’s now been held for nearly three years.

No one puts the words of encouragement for Pastor Youcef better than students in a third-grade class from Elijah House Academy in Richmond, VA.

Their teacher told the students about Pastor Youcef’s plight as an example of a modern day Daniel, who like Pastor Youcef refused to recant his faith in God in the face of execution.

Take a look at these powerful images. Young children understand what’s at stake here.

These school children join a growing list of people around the world who support Pastor Youcef. You can too. Join the ACLJ’s Tweet for Youcef campaign and add your name to our petition calling for his release.

Jay Sekulow

Original post published at http://blog.beliefnet.com/faithandjustice/author/jay_sekulow/

Raise Your Voice to Practice Your Religious Faith, Jay Sekulow will Make it be Heard

Jay Alan Sekulow is the Chief Counsel for the American Centre of Law and Justice (ACLJ) which was founded by Pat Robertson the CBN founder, in order to protect people’s religious and constitutional rights. Jay has presented oral arguments before the US Supreme Court on 12-occasions and has won many landmark victories defending constitutional rights. Sekulow is a champion of life, a formidable antagonist of religious prosecution, a saviour of human rights and a highly respected broadcaster.

He is a frequent guest on the '700 Club', because of his inimitable insight into legal and political concerns and his vast experience in Constitutional law. He is regularly interviewed by many prestigious TV channels like Fox News, ABC and CBN News etc, regarding the critical legal work of ACLJ in protection of religious rights and liberties.

He is the host of a radio program, Jay Sekulow Live! A daily outreach of the ACLJ. Through his radio show, Jay keeps his listeners informed about crucial challenges nationwide regarding liberty and renders them an opportunity to stand in support of ACLJ in defence of religious faith and freedom, garnering tens of thousands of signatures for various causes by means of ACLJ's committees and petitions. Moreover, he is the host of ACLJ This Week; the ACLJ's weekly TV show airs on many networks nationwide.

As a Supreme Court lawyer, Sekulow is widely recognized as one of the legendary saviours of religious liberties and constitutional rights in the US. He has won myriad milestone religious rights cases at the U.S Supreme Court. In the Lamb's Chapel case, he paved the way for missionaries and churches to be allowed equal access to utilize public facilities for religious purposes.

This Man of Pedigree is not just a leading advocate for religious freedom at the U.S Supreme Court, but he is also a stalwart protector for the rights of the unborn. Moreover, he has been rigorously involved in Ten Commandments cases at the U.S Supreme Court, availing unanimous victory in Pleasant Grove for the right of governments to display monuments of the Ten Commandments in parks.

Sekulow's nearly half century of distinguished Court advocacy, has garnered accolades from America's most preeminent publications. Jay has been honoured by Time Magazine as one of the “25- Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” The Legal times has titled him as one of the “90-Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last Thirty Years.” The American Lawyer named Sekulow to its esteemed “Public Sector 45.”

His passion for protecting and respecting religious rights has led him to expand ACLJ's operations and open up new offices worldwide. Jay Sekulow strongly believes religious liberty is an inalienable, Lord-bestowed right for all human beings around the world.

Jay Sekulow: A Supreme Court Stretch Saves ObamaCare

Now that the ObamaCare decision is out and the analysis continues, there are more questions about how the Chief Justice reached his conclusion that the penalty provided for failing to purchase health care is actually a tax – a distinction that cleared the way for the individual mandate and ObamaCare to be upheld as constitutional.

What’s worth noting here is that President Obama repeatedly sold this health care law saying it was NOT a tax on the American people.

But then the Solicitor General, in oral arguments before the high court, waded into that area – using the tax argument. In the end, Chief Justice Roberts embraced that analysis and a massive government-run, pro-abortion law that had four votes poised to overturn the law, was saved – by the Chief Justice’s vote.

In an interview this morning, I told FOX News I thought the decision was a stretch legally, an overreach that ultimately will expand the power of the federal government, not to mention implementing the largest tax increase in history. YouTube Preview Image

There will be more analysis and debate about all of this in the days ahead. In my view, the Chief Justice got this one wrong. During his confirmation hearings, he used a baseball analogy to describe his role on the high court. He said he would be an umpire on the bench – calling “balls” and “strikes” as he sees them – not to “pitch” or “bat.” In this case, he called a ‘strike’ – millions of Americans – including four Justices poised to overturn ObamaCare – disagreed.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney put it best when he noted that while the high court concluded that ObamaCare was constitutional, it did not say that ObamaCare is good law, or good policy. As Romney put it: “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today.”

Jay Sekulow

Original post published at here

Jay Sekulow – A man who dedicated his life to serve humanity

Jay Sekulow - a renowned lawyer and a respected human rights activist, who strongly believes in just one thing “we are all God’s children and no one is above the law.”

The Chief Council for ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice), Sekulow is very popular among the world's most renowned legal and political observers. He is an attorney with tremendous passion for protecting religious liberties, freedom and democracy in the courtrooms, in public and in the upper house.

At the US Supreme court, Jay Alan Sekulow has argued 12 revolutionary cases-including many landmark cases that have become an eminent part of the legal system in the genre of 'religious liberty litigation.'

In the milestone case of the Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens,; Sekulow cleared the path for public school students to create religious organizations and Bible clubs in their school premises. Similarly, In McConnell vs. FEC, Jay ensured that minors' constitutional right to free speech remain protected and they cannot be prohibited from voicing their support for a political party or candidate by making a contribution to a political rally or campaign. The Supreme Court unanimously consented with this argument, unequivocally holing that 'minors 'relish the protection of the First Amendment.

Initially, no one could have foreseen that what had started as a mission to defend religious rights in the United States, would comprise as an international outreach. In a world where Christians face violence, discrimination and even brutal death for simply practicing their religion, it soon became evident that there is a lot of effort required to safeguard humanity. Jay Sekulow deeply believes that religious freedom is a universal right and a global concern.

Whether it is raising his voice against discrimination in the name of religion or safeguarding religious liberty abroad or right here at home, he possess a vast track-record of success which has not gone unnoticed. Time Magazine named Sekulow as one of the most influential evangelicals in America; Town Magazine crowned him as “Townhall of Fame and recognized him as “one of the top attorneys in the US.”

Jay Sekulow has spent his career protecting religious liberties; fighting for freedom of speech; instigating pro-life campaigns; and restoring faith in people.

Jay Sekulow: ObamaCare Focus Turns to Congress and Repeal Vote

The fight to challenge ObamaCare is over at the Supreme Court. Now, the focal point is Congress – and specifically the U.S. House of Representatives.

House Speaker John Boehner put it bluntly: “This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over one step at a time.”

A growing number of Americans understand that the Supreme Court got this one wrong. And, a clear majority of Americans now support repeal of ObamaCare.... Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/faithandjustice/2012/07/jay-sekulow-obamacare-congress-repeal-vote.html

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: SCOTUS Puts AZ in Tough Spot with Immigration

The Supreme Court today unanimously upheld a key provision of Arizona S.B. 1070 – a provision of the law that gives police authority to check the immigration status of a person while enforcing other laws if ‘reasonable suspicion’ exists that the person is in the United States illegally. That’s the good news.

The bad news: the high court struck down a number of other provisions which Arizona was relying on to secure its borders and protect its citizens. And, there’s more bad news. The provision upheld by the high court is actually in jeopardy because of President Obama’s selective enforcement of immigration laws.

Let’s not forget it was just days ago that President Obama actually changed immigration law by simply issuing a directive – an order to stop deporting many young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

This did not go unnoticed by Justice Scalia who issued a stinging dissent that put this fact into proper perspective.

“The issue is a stark one: Are the sovereign states at the mercy of the federal executive’s refusal to enforce the nation’s immigration laws? A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the states conceivably have entered into the union if the Constitution itself contained the court’s holding? If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state. . . .To say, as the court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of federal immigration law that the president declines to enforce boggles the mind.”

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, Arizona and other states are in a difficult spot now. Even with a constitutional immigration provision upheld by the high court today, we have a president who picks and chooses which laws he wants to enforce. YouTube Preview Image

As you may recall, we represented nearly 60 members of Congress and more than 65,000 Americans in an amicus brief filed with the high court backing Arizona S.B. 1070.

While acknowledging there will be more legal challenges, Arizona Governor Brewer called the high court’s decision to uphold the key provision of the law “a victory for the rule of law.” And the fact is that most Americans not only supported Arizona’s efforts, but wanted the Supreme Court to uphold the entire Arizona immigration law.

Today’s decision, compounded by the continuing overreach of President Obama, raises more questions than it answers when it comes to immigration reform. We will continue to back constitutional measures in Arizona and other states that want to secure their borders and protect their citizens.

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: Historic Religious Liberty Win – 25 Years Ago Today at Supreme Court

June 15, 1987. I was in Chicago conducting a training program – examining the legal issues – on literature distribution for Jews for Jesus.

Just months earlier, I had delivered oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of Jews for Jesus – arguing that literature distribution at airports was a constitutionally-protected activity. It was my first time before the high court, a young and nervous attorney, who presented what was then a unique argument.

Instead of relying solely on the premise that such literature distribution was protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, which had met with limited legal success, I argued that officials at the Los Angeles International Airport actually created a policy forbidding all “First Amendment activities.” My argument was very direct and focused: the policy prohibiting literature distribution violated the free speech rights of my client. My entire argument was aimed at protecting free speech.

You can listen to the oral arguments here.

On that day, June 15, 1987, I knew the Supreme Court would be issuing opinions. There was no internet, no instant communications to find out what the Supreme Court had decided. I placed a call from a pay phone to the Court from Chicago and asked about the status of the case. “A decision has been issued,” the clerk responded. I waited. And then I heard the news. “Nine-zero, unanimous.” I couldn’t believe it. Stunned. That was a very emotional moment.

Each and every Justice agreed that religious speech must be given the same protection as all other protected speech.

The unanimous Court held that the regulation at issue was overbroad on its face; in other words, it was so overreaching and violative of the First Amendment that “no conceivable governmental interest would justify such an absolute prohibition of speech.” It was a resounding win for free speech and religious liberty.

Now, 25 years later to the day, I look back at that first Supreme Court win with fondness and deep gratitude. At the time, I never imagined what would unfold in the following years. I’ve been privileged to return numerous times to the Supreme Court to take part in oral arguments, and very fortunate to have secured additional victories protecting the constitutional rights of Americans.

The Lord has blessed the ACLJ with tremendous success. No question about that.

What is also true is that none of it – not the first Supreme Court win a quarter century ago or any of our other victories – would have been possible without the support of you – our members. There are some who have been with us from the very start. And many others who have joined with us over the years.

I want to thank you for your continued prayers and support. There will always be new threats – new challenges – to our families and to our freedom. And I want you to know that as we celebrate this special anniversary marking our first Supreme Court victory, we remain dedicated to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: Last Chance for AG Holder on Fast & Furious?

A meeting between Rep. Issa and Attorney General Holder is scheduled to take place late today. Here’s the question: will the meeting and the documents expected to be produced by Holder be enough to hold off a scheduled contempt of Congress vote against Holder set for tomorrow in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee?

We’ve been talking about this for months. The Attorney General and Justice Department continue to stonewall – failing to produce key information that would explain who knew what and when in the botched gun-running DOJ program known as Operation Fast & Furious, which resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Not only has it been impossible to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, the DOJ had to retract a February 4, 2011 letter submitted to Congress – retracted many months later – after it was revealed the letter contained numerous inaccuracies and false information.

Now, with a late day meeting set between Rep. Issa and Attorney General Holder, very big questions still remain.

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, this is one last chance for Holder. Will he comply with a duly authorized subpoena or not?

The fact of the matter is that this is fast becoming quite a constitutional showdown. And the truth is this is a crisis created by the Attorney General himself. This has not been good lawyering. In fact, the legal strategy employed by the DOJ of stonewalling and providing incorrect information is preposterous.

Will the Attorney General produce the necessary document at today’s meeting with Rep. Issa, the chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee? We will see.

As Rep. Issa put it, “It’s not about meetings, it’s about getting documents.”

Stay tuned.

Jay Sekulow

Jay Sekulow: President Obama’s Arrogance

It’s a tactic that has become the hallmark of his presidency. President Obama declaring a change in U.S. immigration law. No Congressional action. No court decision. Just another executive decision. This time changing immigration law to permit young people who were brought to this country illegally to stay, rather than face deportation.

We should have seen this one coming. The Wall Street Journal points out that President Obama actually revealed his intentions a year ago. “In a speech last year to La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization that has criticized the White House for the lack of progress on immigration reform, President Obama mused that he’d like ‘to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.’ He added, ‘Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.’”

Well, the temptation he talked about then proved to be too much for the president. Last Friday, he gave into political temptation. Another power grab.

President Obama and his imperial presidency. Acting alone in deciding which laws to enforce, which to ignore. A constitutional scholar who isn’t following the constitution. A president who doesn’t worry about the separation of powers, circumventing the traditional checks and balances of our constitutional system.

It’s this kind of arrogance that already has drawn a sharp rebuke from many.

Sen. Lindsey Graham called Obama’s action “at best unwise and possibly illegal.” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he is planning to file suit against the Obama Administration to challenge the president’s action.

And respected commentator Charles Krauthammer put it more bluntly: “Beyond the pandering, beyond the politics, beyond the process – is simple constitutional decency. This is out-and-out lawlessness. You had a clip of the president himself say months ago ‘I cannot do this on my own because there are laws on the books.’ Well, I have news for president – the laws remain on the books. They haven’t changed.”

For this White House and this president, there is only one branch of government – the executive branch. And, no doubt, the president will continue to rely on what many have called his executive command authority to push through his agenda.

For more information about Jay Sekulow visit at http://jaysekulow.blogspot.com

New Ordinance Allows Nativity Scene on Public Property

We were contacted this past December by a Chelsea, MI Council Member who asked us to assist in drafting an ordinance to regulate private use of public space. He contacted us because Chelsea would not allow a live nativity scene on city-leased property during a December festival. Councilman Anderson wanted an ordinance in place to protect such activities. As such, he contacted ACLJ attorneys who were able to provide him with information regarding the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act.

Specifically, we discussed Lamb’s Chapel, argued by ACLJ Chief Counsel, Jay Sekulow, a case in which a unanimous Supreme Court held that the First Amendment requires religious groups to be treated equally with other groups that use public facilities. The Court upheld two principles. First, denying religious organizations equal access to, and use of, public facilities for speech activities violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Second, it is not a violation of the Establishment Clause (what some people mistakenly call “separation of church and state”) for a school to treat religious organizations equally with other organizations. These principles apply to all public facilities, not just school facilities, which have been opened for use by community organizations.

Based on such case law, ACLJ attorneys were able to assist the Council Member in drafting an ordinance that would regulate private use of public space. The outcome was favorable, and we just received word that the drafted ordinance passed unanimously.

We are pleased with this outcome and will continue working to protect the rights of religious organizations to ensure that they are treated equally with other organizations when public space has been opened for use by community organizations.

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