Justice Department OKs Christian-only hiring by World Vision

Nondiscrimination would "substantially burden" religious practice
The U.S. Justice Department recently disclosed a 2007 ruling by its Office of Legal Counsel that permitted the relief agency World Vision to keep a $1.5 million grant despite its policy of hiring only Christians.

World Vision successfully sought an exemption from a statute that requires grant recipients to refrain from hiring discrimination on the basis of religion. The grant was for a program aimed at reducing youth involvement in gangs.

World Vision’s Web site notes under its employment qualifications that U.S. applicants will be “screened for Christian commitment.”

In the government opinion issued June 29, 2007, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John P. Elwood wrote: “We determine that it is reasonable to conclude that requiring World Vision to comply with the nondiscrimination provision as a condition of receiving the grant would ‘substantially burden’ its religious exercise.”


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