(JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League condemned what it called government-sanctioned discriminatory practices at an evangelical adoption agency in North Carolina with government funding.
The ADL addressed the practices of Miracle Hill Ministries in a paper it sent last month to the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor ahead of a June 25 committee hearing about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The foster agency, which accepts only Christian employees and prospective foster parents, “is permitted to broadly discriminate against otherwise qualified, prospective foster parents because a person follows a non-Christian faith,” ADL’s national religious freedom counsel, David Barkey, and three other ADL representatives wrote to Bobby Scott.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services invoked the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act to grant “a waiver to South Carolina from federal regulations prohibiting religious discrimination by federally funded, faith-based foster care agencies,” the letter said. This was a misuse of the Act, the cosignatories added.
Miracle Hill “has a record of discrimination,” and “last year it rejected a woman, who had been a foster parent in Florida, as a volunteer mentor for foster children under its care” and “another Jewish woman and a Catholic woman alleged that Miracle Hill rejected them as foster parents because of their faith,” the letter said.
Miracle Hill recently was forced to accept Catholics following a lawsuit, HuffPost reported Friday. Miracle Hill has countered discrimination allegations by stating that it would refer non-Christians and others it won’t service to foster agencies that would.