First Liberty Institute Asks Congress to Protect Houston Churches

Letter encourages correction of discriminatory FEMA policy


DALLAS, Nov. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attorneys with First Liberty Institute sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan supporting the House and Senate Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Acts of 2017.  Several Congressional leaders, including Sens. Blunt, Cruz, Cornyn, and Lankford, sponsored the measures to resolve a discriminatory policy maintained by the Federal Emergency Management Administration that excludes faith-based entities, including churches, from receiving federal disaster assistance just because they are religious.

Read the letters here and here.

“When faced with devastating disasters, houses of worship need the same help as everyone else,” said Chelsey Youman, Counsel to First Liberty. “Churches, synagogues, and mosques—are the cornerstone of their communities. They are the first to respond to disasters in places like Houston and South Florida. Without aid, it’s likely they won’t be able to rebuild.”

According to the CEO of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, nonprofit organizations, many of which are faith-based, facilitate about 80% of relief efforts following a natural disaster.  On September 10, 2017, FEMA director Jamie Johnson told the USA Today, “FEMA cannot do what it does so well without the cooperation of faith-based non-profit organizations and churches.”

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

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