Wyoming: Christian group is free to hire only Christians following settlement of discrimination lawsuit
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Federal agencies and the state of Wyoming have acknowledged in settling a lawsuit filed against them that the Christian Wyoming Rescue Mission is free to hire only like-minded believers who share in the organization’s mission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Washington Times reports.
Founded in 1978, the Wyoming Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that seeks to offer “a nurturing, healing space where those experiencing homelessness, hunger, addiction or poverty are empowered to transform their lives through the love of Christ.”
The Mission stipulates on its website that all of its employees must be able to lead Bible studies and share the Gospel and must therefore have a personal relationship with Christ.
“It is essential that all employees of the Mission have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and subscribe to our Statement of Faith and Ministry Principles. Employees must be willing to lead and/or participate in Bible study, prayer, devotions, and sharing the Gospel,” the group’s website informs.
Litigation arose when a professing non-Christian applied for a job in the Mission’s thrift store in 2020 and was turned down because he is not a believer in Christ, the Times reports.
The applicant sued the Mission on the grounds of discrimination, and a 16-month federal investigation ensued. Eventually, government officials agreed that there had “likely” been a violation of Wyoming’s Fair Employment Practices Act and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Mission itself then filed suit against state and federal agencies two months ago, arguing the First Amendment of the Constitution permits it to hire staff who share its beliefs and views “without being threatened and investigated by the government,” the Times reports.
A settlement has now been reached whereby the Mission is free to hire only those that can share the Gospel and help to make disciples in accordance with Christ’s commission. The consent decree also stipulates the state agency will pay $10,000 in attorneys’ fees, the Times said.
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