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Religion in the Workplace the Norm for FCCI

This month, the Fellowship of Companies for Christ International (FCCI), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping executives run their businesses in accordance with Christian values and biblical tenets, launched a plan to expand its activities, which include proselytizing, into Europe. Proselytizing at the workplace, however, is controversial. In October 2001, a Florida man lost a Supreme Court appeal against his employer, REN Laboratories, for firing him for harassing other employees. The man was “witnessing” at work, leading the office in prayer, and dispensing Bibles.

FCCI, begun in 1980, already claims nearly 2,000 members and more than 150 chapters in the U.S. The organization holds regional conferences and workshops for its members and encourages religious activity in the workplace. “The call of FCCI is for somebody to use the things they have been gifted with to God’s glory,” said Bobby Mitchell, a FCCI founding member. “And if they happen to be president of a company, to use that company as a platform for ministry.”

Most FCCI members are business owners and executives who are expected to incorporate their faith into business policies. Members, however, claim that they do not discriminate against employees in hiring. They do admit though to praying with or counseling employees and other members have admitted to proselytizing or “witnessing.” “Maybe they might say my son just died, or they’ve had some tragedy, or 9-11,” says Phil Marchetti, a business owner and FCCI member, “it’s like a door opening.”

Sources:

Washington Post, 1/11/02; Feminist Daily News Wire, 10/30/01

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