Check out this article from Christianity Today’s Church Law & Tax Newsletter. This is helpful information to all those involved in international missions, but especially those of you who are doing missions work in closed/hostile nations.
Lessons from a Baptism Gone Wrong
Last year, the incredible story behind a Syrian man’s lawsuit against an Oklahoma church appeared in news outlets ranging from The Washington Post to our own sister publication Christianity Today. The man had been baptized at his Tulsa church after becoming a Christian; the church “promised to keep his baptism quiet, since shari’ah law demands that converts from Islam be executed.” He then returned to Syria—only to be kidnapped and tortured by extremists who told him they’d seen the news of his baptism on his church’s website.
Oklahoma’s highest court initially ruled that the man couldn’t sue the church, as “secular courts don’t have jurisdiction over ecclesiastical matters like theology and customs.” Now the court is saying something different: that the man can, in fact, sue…