Oregon Officials Accused of Cutting Funding to Christian Nonprofit over Statement of Faith

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A nonprofit Christian ministry in Oregon is struggling after a state government agency conditioned funding when it comes to hiring workers who do not have the same beliefs, per court allegations.

The organization, identified as 71Five Ministries in Medford, said its mission is to “share God’s story of hope with young people through trusting relationships in any relevant way.”

Its name refers to Psalm 71:5 which reads, “Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young,” and the group works to mobilize caring adults to have trusting relationships with the younger generation it its area.

Fox News reported Tuesday:

The Oregon-based Christian ministry group – 71Five Ministries – is currently grappling with a large deficit in its annual budget after the state’s education department allegedly stripped its funding due to its religious character, the lawsuit, originally filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom in March, alleged. The case wrapped up oral arguments last week and is awaiting a decision from a judge in the case.

The group had been granted funds for six years but has since been denied due to a statement of faith required of its workers.

On its website, 71Five Ministries details its statement of faith, which said its board members, employees, and volunteers must “subscribe and adhere without mental reservation to the following tenets of faith.”

Please click here to read the statement of faith.

According to the Fox report, “The ADF argued that as a religious organization, it has the legally protected right to prefer members of its own faith as employees and volunteers. The ADF based it on Supreme Court rulings, including one which said the government cannot interfere with a religious organization’s ‘selection of those who will personify its beliefs.'”

Bud Amundsen is the executive director of the nonprofit. He told Fox the ministry was confused when the funding was pulled.

He is now trying to figure out how to deal with the financial situation going forward and hopes he will not have to reduce the number of staffers who help young people.

“The amount of the grants was over 10% of our budget. And so to have that pulled obviously we have to go about … funding in a different way. We’ve had to spend $187,000 in reserves to keep the programming at present,” he explained.

In April 2023, Rev. Franklin Graham blasted Oregon for putting a political agenda over the needs of children after a mother named Jessica Bates allegedly had her adoption application rejected over her Christian beliefs regarding gender and sexuality, Breitbart News reported.

“Oregon has 8,000+ children in foster care & around 200 waiting to be adopted. For the state to put their political agenda & woke ideology above the needs of these children is appalling. Thank you @ADFLegal for coming to Jessica’s aid & fighting for the rights of Christians everywhere,” he said.


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