The Christian Rights and Freedom Institute is a Christian, private donor supported educational and advocacy organization bearing witness to God’s love on the current moral and ethical challenges of our day, especially on religious liberty, the UN’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights, on persecution, and on genocide.
We envision a world where all people are respected as being created in the, “image” and “likeness” of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)
The Institute was founded in 2014 in response to the invasion of Mosul, Iraq as a means of opposing and stopping the ensuing genocide. It sponsors an annual speaker series, culminating each year with the National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium.
Father Philemon Patitsas is the Presiding Priest of the Saint Katherine Christian Orthodox Church (Naples, FL), and the Spiritual Advisor of the Institute.
Fr. Philemon was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Charlotte, NC), and later installed as the Presiding Priest of St. Katherine in 2012, after completing studies with highest distinction at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Master of Divinity), and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (Master of Public Administration).
“Witnessing our Faith by peacefully uplifting Christ”
The holy scriptures reveal that mankind is created in the, “image” and “likeness” of God (Genesis 1:26-27), and has been endowed with the gift of “free will” (Genesis 2:16-17, Leviticus 1:3, Joshua 24:15, Ezra 3:5); therefore, freedom is fundamental to our divinely ordained nature, and is an inalienable gift from God. The Institute opposes all affronts to this freedom, whatever their evil forms, be they tyranny, oppression, enslavement, injustice, or moral decay afflicting mankind and society.
Christians are called to illumine and heal this fallen world by sharing the Light and Life of Christ (John 1:4). God, as the author of life, is the source of everything that is good, for “every good and perfect gift… is from above…”. (James 1:17) As we are one with His life, we value and defend life.
We are our, “brother’s keeper” (Genesis 4:8-10). Christians are morally obligated to speak out on matters of religious liberty, human rights, and on the pressing moral and ethical issues of our day for everyone’s benefit. We must play a leading role in this educational process. The Christian Rights and Freedom Institute is committed to this cause.
Jesus Christ is the Divine Logos (John 1:1). He is the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16). He is the most beautiful of all. (Psalms: 27:4, 50:2, 90:17) He is, “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:1) The Lord is righteous. (Psalm 11:7) Wherever beauty, truth and righteousness exist, His word is present, because He generously spreads His seed (see “Parable of the Sower”: Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8; see also “σπερματικός λόγος” – i.e. “seed of the Word”, St. Justin Martyr, 1c. AD). We seek and promote the growth of this seed wherever it resides.
As Americans, our ability to express our United States Constitutional 1st Amendment freedoms is being undermined (i.e. grievance, assembly, speech, press and religious liberty), which adversely affects our ability as Christians to live, share and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are morally obligated to defend religious liberty, not only for ourselves, but for everyone. When our rights and freedoms are restored, we will all benefit.
Families are experiencing unprecedented social, cultural and economic upheavals, which are undermining their ability to transmit faith and values to succeeding generations. The decline in the number of Christians must be reversed. We are all responsible for instilling Godly faith in succeeding generations, and educating our families on the sanctify of freedom as a need and expression of the soul, which is endowed with free will. The Christian Rights and Freedom Institute strives to play an important role in the education of families on the foundations of faith and freedom through our educational and advocacy programs, which are intended for use in homes, churches, communities and schools.