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Christian Privilege or Persecution? Students Say GWU Workshop Misses Mark 

04-05-2018
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CBN's David Brody spoke with Cabot Phillips, media director for Campus Reform, regarding Thursday's seminar at George Washington University on "Christian privilege." CLICK ABOVE to watch the interview.

WASHINGTON – Christian students attending a workshop on "Christian privilege" at The George Washington University say the program missed the mark.

"I know a lot of students who have felt persecuted because of their faith," said Emma Shindell, a Christian and sophomore at the university.

The workshop was designed to examine the "unmerited perks" and way Christians "live life in an easier way" than non-Christians in America.

It's the latest in a series examining privilege in America, including that of males and white people.

"These conferences do more to divide the student population, pointing out our differences rather than working together to try to make sure we're a united student body and that everybody is respected," Shindell told CBN News.

Freshman Matthew Mastroberti also attended the event and says he was able to push back against the demonizing of Christians.

"I think we all definitely learned from each other and hopefully we'll grow from this and hopefully GW will do a better job of protecting Christians on campus," he said.

The university didn't allow CBN News to cover the event, but Mastroberti says about 30 students attended, more than half of whom are Christian.

Mastroberti and Shindell say many Christian students on campus feel persecuted. They both shared personal experiences from their biology and philosophy classes where their Christian faith was made an issue.

"It's definitely seen as something that we should study but isn't real – it's kind of looked at like mythology and not something that people actually still believe in nowadays," Shindell said.

GWU junior and Catholic Kaleo Kinimaka-Ahkoi also thinks the university is off base by suggesting Christians experience "unmerited perks" in life.

"I think there are a lot of perks that come along with being a Christian. A lot of the tenets of Christianity are very helpful, I think, to people developing personally and spiritually," he said. "But at the end of the day, they're equating Christianity essentially with immutable characteristics like race or color, which is not something that Christianity or any religion for that matter actually is. It's something you can convert into."

Mastroberti says one student in the workshop said when people share their faith it feels like they're trying to push it on others.

"I wanted to say that as Christians the love that we have we want to share with everyone because Jesus Christ loves you and we want to tell you about it and we want to tell you about serving Him," he said. "And unfortunately, they don't want to hear it."

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