University of Michigan Kicks Christian Club Off Campus
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Jan 31
The University of Michigan is accused of kicking an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter off campus because the group requires its leaders to be Christians -- an apparent violation of the university's nondiscrimination policy, reports Todd Starnes. Last December, members of Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship were summoned before university officials who told them there was an issue with the section of their club constitution related to leadership. In order for students to be InterVarsity leaders, they must sign a statement of faith, but the university said that requirement violated its nondiscrimination policy. InterVarsity member Sara Chang said the group was given the option of submitting a revised constitution, but she and the other students decided to stand firm in their faith. As a result, the university de-recognized the group -- forcing them to relocate off campus. InterVarsity has 10 chapters at Michigan and Greg Jao, InterVarsity's national field director, says he suspects the others will soon be called upon to make similar changes to their constitutions. "The university is sending the message that religious voices are suspect and should be marginalized," said Jao. "I think it sends the message that the university does not understand the nature of religious beliefs and the convictions of religious students."