Last month, we told you about the incredible victory we had in the courts: Our two clients who were arrested for reading the Bible aloud outside of their local DMV were found “Not Guilty.” This month, we’d like to tell you about our co-counsel in this case, Nic Cocis, who in 1983 came from a communist dictatorship in Romania to the United States, where he became an advocate for individual liberties. Growing up in Romania during a dictatorship regime, Nic felt the pain of state oppression of the Church and Christians firsthand. At school, he and his brothers were often questioned by state teachers about what occurred in their church, and they were even made an example before their classmates and ostracized before their peers.
When one of Nic’s brothers was able to escape this persecution by fleeing to the United States with a Christian couple, the remaining members of the family were watched more closely by the Romanian government. Nic told the Christian News Network, “My parents began to be followed by the security forces to see where they were going [and] what they were doing. Our phones were being tapped whenever my brother would call from America … and our mail was read too [as] the letters we would receive were unsealed and cut open.”
Shortly before the family decided to leave the country, Nic’s parents were fired from their jobs, and Nic was expelled from his school. The family was forced to pay a fee to give up their Romanian citizenship.
When he arrived in America, Nic decided that he wanted to become an advocate for the liberty he had not been allowed in his mother country. He became an attorney to defend the freedoms he was proud to enjoy here in the United States. When he heard about our case involving Christians arrested for reading from the Bible, he knew he wanted to be involved.
We are so grateful to Nic for his efforts in bringing this case to victory, and for his reminder that our work is paramount – we are blessed to have religious freedom in America, and when it is challenged, we must stand firm in our beliefs and defend our Constitutional liberties!
“You would expect that to happen in Romania in 1983, not in the U.S. in 2013. From the first time I saw the video, I wanted to be involved in this case. I felt like I needed to be involved in this case because of my background.” Nic Cocis
NEW CASE: Hostility Towards Christianity in Our Schools
Recently, concerned parents came to us with a story that is all too common. Their child attends MargaritaMiddle School in Temecula, CA, and his teacher had given students a reading assignment: read a nonfiction book for 30 minutes to an hour, and then bring the book into class. This student had read the Bible and, as per the assignment, brought it to school and placed it on his desk.
As the teacher came by – stamping the other students’ assignments as approved – he stopped at his desk. He told the boy that the Bible was not a nonfiction book, and the student responded, “Honestly, I believe it is.”
The teacher then turned to the class and asked, in a demeaning fashion, how many of the students believed that the Bible is nonfiction. All but two kids raised their hands. Instead of humiliating our client, it was the teacher that was humiliated! Undeterred, the teacher responded that he thought the Bible is a work of fiction. Right then, class ended, and the matter was left unresolved.
We will be sending a letter to the school in order to protect the rights of this student. This is an example of the growing hostility towards Christianity that is being displayed in our public classrooms, and we believe we must take a stand! We believe that the actions of this teacher violate the Establishment Clause, which requires the State to remain neutral on issues of religion.
At Advocates, one of the main goals of our ministry is to protect our children from the persecution and hostility that they are facing in schools more and more as a result of their faith. We are actively looking for more cases such as this one where school officials express hostility toward Christianity. If you hear of any kind of violation of a teacher’s or student’s religious liberties, please contact us at (888) 588-6888 or through our website at www.faith-freedom.com.