A University in the U-S discriminates against a Christian campus group

By August 18, 2006

USA (MNN) — The leaders of an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter in the United States are asking Christians worldwide to pray. The University of Wisconsin-Superior chapter tells us UW-S officials will not recognize their chapter beginning with the 2006-07 school year.

InterVarsity Spokesman Gordon Govier says, “The University has decided that we’re being discriminatory because we ask the leaders of our organization to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs that fit together with our doctrinal statements. We require leaders of a Christian organization to be Christians.”

According to Govier, it does have an impact on their ministry. “We don’t get use of campus facilities. And, we’re not eligible for funding for events and things like that.”

This isn’t the end of the issue, though. Govier says, “We do have an attorney who’s handling it for us, David French of the Alliance Defense Fund, and he sent a letter to the University last week.”

In the meantime, Govier says the university’s action violates a student’s right to free speech and religious freedom. However, InterVarsity’s 55 students won’t stop meeting completely. “You can still operate ‘underground’ or off campus and do activities that students will still attend and participate in. It just makes it a little more difficult when you don’t have the university in your corner.”

Govier says student leaders are meeting together. “The chapter leadership is at Chapter Camp this week and they’re obviously talking about what they’re going to be doing in the weeks ahead.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened. They faced a similar situation with Rutgers University in 2002. That case was settled out of court.

InterVarsity serves more than 35,000 students and faculty on more than 560 campuses in the U-S.

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