Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

Fourteen Major Faith Groups Support Full Net Neutrality

Today fourteen major religious denominations and organizations joined the throngs of people in the United States and around the world in calling on the Federal Communications Commission to adopt robust net neutrality protections. The letter, coordinated by the United Church of Christ's media justice ministry, OC Inc., and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was joined by the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Society for North America, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, among others. 

 

The letter highlighted the importance of free and open Internet communications not only for church and religious organizations own operations, but also for disenfranchised and vulnerable people to access services:

 

Strong net neutrality protections are critical to the faith community to function and connect with our members, essential to protect and enhance the ability of vulnerable communities to use advanced technology, and necessary for any organization that seeks to organize, advocate for justice or bear witness in the crowded and over-commercialized media environment.

 

Noting that "the Internet is an indispensable medium for people of faith – and others with principled values – to convey views on matters of public concern and religious teachings," the letter also described the consequences of inadequate protections, "Communication is an essential element of religious freedom and freedom of conscience: we fear the day might come when people of faith and conscience, and the institutions representing them, would have no recourse if we were prevented from sharing a forceful message or a call to activism using the Internet."

 

The letter urged the Federal Communications Commission to adopt the strongest possible rules to prohibit paid prioritization and survive legal challenges.

 

The full list of signers included:

Church World Service, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, California (CLUE CA), Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Franciscan Action Network, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Islamic Society of North America, National Council of Churches USA, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Trabajo Cultural Caminante, United Church of Christ, OC Inc. and Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the World Association for Christian Communication, North America.

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