Evangelicals for Human Rights was founded in the summer of 2006 as an initiative of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, which was seeking to broaden its anti-torture coalition to include a larger number of evangelicals. The effort was led by a four-person committee that included David P. Gushee, Ron Sider, Glen Stassen, and Rich Cizik.
Initially, our only goal was the drafting of a major statement about torture and human rights. This document, which eventually took the name, “An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror,” was drafted by 17 evangelical leaders over a nine-month period.
The document was released in March 2007 concurrently with its adoption by the Board of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), our nation’s preeminent association of evangelical church and parachurch bodies, representing over 30,000,000 evangelical Christians. The NAE remains a strong supporter of our efforts and is fully invested in the struggle against torture.
In the summer of 2007, it was clear that the struggle against torture—and against the appalling moral acceptance of torture by many American Christians—was not yet complete. Therefore we sought and accepted funding for another year of operations. Meanwhile, we broadened and strengthened our effort by enlisting a Steering Committee of evangelical leaders from around the nation.
Legally, EHR will remain a project of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture until August 31, 2008, after which we hope to be established as an independent 501(c)3 organization under federal tax law.
Our staff consists of Dr. David P. Gushee, President, Mary Head, Project Administrator, and student interns Jill Zimmer and Drew Zimmer.
E H R is not currently a membership organization nor do we receive donations. Our modest funding has been secured through grants from human rights agencies through the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
What You Can Do
The best way to support E H R at this time is to add your name to the Evangelical Declaration Against Torture and join our Action Alert Network. Adding your email address to our action alert system will enable us to contact you occasionally with news of significant developments, resources, or opportunities to make a difference on torture and related human rights issues. Send us a request to receive alerts and periodice updates on news and events.