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Topic: The importance of religious freedom
Every year, I sit down to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with my extended family. We share memories, joy, and laughter just like the Pilgrims did over 400 years ago. That is a memory every family can relate to, although most people have never thought about or don’t even know why they are there. The reason is simple: if the Pilgrims would not have stood up for their freedom and took a dangerous journey to the “New World” to get their religious freedom back, we would not have a Thanksgiving. If it was not for this, history-and Americans lives-would be completely different.
In England, there was one church- The Church of England. The Pilgrims were part of the Separatists, who wanted the freedom to worship God in their own way, but they did not have the freedom to. If you were found practicing a different religion, you would be thrown into jail. So, the Pilgrims merely took a journey to be able to just get back their religious freedom. 45 of the 102 passengers died on the journey. Would you be able to risk your life for religious freedom?
The Pilgrims left behind England to come to America, a land with religious freedom. In the 27 amendments of the Constitution, religious freedom is the first. It says this about freedom of religion, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” To me, those are the most beautiful words ever written. We are one of the few countries that have religious freedom and are able to do one of the most important things to me, attend a Catholic school. Catholic schooling is so important to me because the environment is safe, and I will not be bullied because of my faith. While we get this opportunity, however, other countries are not. In fact, they getting any opportunity except the ones their leader wants.
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North Korea is rumored as the worst country to be a Christian in. Many Christians worship secretly, but many are found. Consequently, they are taken to a political camp where they are tortured with extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labor, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape, and sexual violence. Other cases go as far as hanging on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges, and trampled underfoot, according to CSW. Nevertheless, 300,000 to 500,000 people still worship secretly. Still, these Christians probably spend their days waiting to be killed. That is exactly why I am so grateful to live in America. People would have so much bravery to be a Christian in North Korea. But, they knew what was waiting for them-Heaven.
I believe Religious Freedom is definitely important enough to be the first amendment in America. The mistreatment that goes on daily in other countries because you practice religion is something that I have honestly never thought about until now. Thinking about what the other people have gone through, I think if the opportunity calls, I would give my life as Jesus did, and never turn back.