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Statement by World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns on Today's Decision by U.S. Supreme Court Rejecting Case Affecting Religious Hiring Rights
RE: Sylvia Spencer, et al., Petitioners v. World Vision, Inc.
Contact: Dean R. Owen, World Vision, 253-815-2103, 253-906-8645 cell, dowen@worldvision.org
WASHINGTON,  October 3, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearn releases the following statement on today's decision by U.S. Supreme Court rejecting a case affecting religious hiring rights:
Today's action by the U.S. Supreme Court represents a major victory for the freedom of all religious organizations to hire employees who share the same faith - whether Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, or any other religion.
I am pleased, relieved and gratified with the court's action. After four years of litigation, we at World Vision U.S. may now put this matter behind us, and continue our policy of hiring Christians.
Our Christian faith has been the foundation of our work since the organization was established in 1950, and our hiring policy is vital to the integrity of our mission to serve the poor as followers of Jesus Christ.
My colleagues and I at World Vision have an uncompromising commitment to serve the poor in the name of Christ. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender, and strive to demonstrate God's love and compassion through our work.
The request the nation's highest court rejected was an appeal involving three former employees who were terminated in 2007 because they no longer agreed with World Vision U.S.'s statement of faith. Agreeing to and signing the statement of faith are conditions of employment at the U.S. offices of the Christian humanitarian organization.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit ruled 2-1 in August of 2010 that World Vision qualifies as a religious organization under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, thereby, upholding the terminations. Previously, a federal district court judge dismissed the former employees' case.