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Advocates International Project

Post written by Jaelyn Morgan

Working as a student staff member for the Center for Global Justice has been a great opportunity and a privilege.

For my first project, my team was assigned to research the status of the law in African nations to assist the Christian, global organization called Advocates International.

What is Advocates International?

Before I began to work on this project, I had never heard of Advocates International. Founded in 1992 by former Christian Legal Society Executive Director Sam Ericsson, the organization consists of Christian law students, lawyers, and judges who advocate for justice while bearing witness to Jesus Christ in the legal profession. The mission of Advocates International is to inspire and mobilize a global group of advocates to do justice with compassion. Further, its vision is for all people to thrive “in hope, peace, and justice, within societies committed to freedom of religion or belief and the rule of law with integrity.” Areas of advocacy in which the organization serves include family and community; religious freedom; justice for the poor; rule of law; peace and reconciliation; and sanctity of life.

The Project

My project with Advocates International involves serving on a team tasked to update a document that overviews the laws pertaining to abortion, marriage, family, same sex marriage, and freedom of worship in African nations. The process has been very interesting. First, I had no idea there was such a diverse spectrum of freedom in African nations. For example, nations like the Republic of Botswana have modern laws such as an implemented constitution that provides freedom for religion and belief. It also has antidiscrimination laws protecting people based on creed or belief, gender, and sexual orientation or conduct. Further, Botswanan law provides citizens a large latitude for freedom of worship and exercise of religious practice.

On the other hand, the State of Eritrea is extremely restricted. It possesses an unimplemented constitution that, if applied, would provide freedom for religion. Unfortunately, Eritrean law has many gaps in the criminalization of violent behavior and restricting government abuse of power toward religious groups. All in all, I was surprised to see the diversity in law for African nations. Working on this project has shown me that each country is a nation within its own right and each one is not necessarily like the other simply because it shares a border or region of the continent.

One last thing I have observed while working on this project is that some nations, such as the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, is predominantly Christian while nations such as the Union of Comoros operate as a Sunni Islamic State. Consequently, the freedoms and rights protected in each nation seemed to correlate with the legal framework of underlying philosophy in each nation.

I am extremely grateful to be part of the team assisting Advocates International this semester. It is a privilege to support the meaningful legal work they do for people in African nations and across the globe. If you have time today, please pray for the work God is doing through Advocates International, especially for its affiliated Christian lawyers and judges, some of whom may be the only Christian legal practitioner in that region, state, or nation.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.