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Freedom Is Stratis’ Sphere

"Garden State" attorney cultivates a growing passion for defending religious liberty

Demetrios Stratis is what you might call one of the "heavy hitters" among the allied attorneys of the Alliance Defense Fund. He has to be. The New Jersey lawyer keeps coming to bat in the crucial innings of some of the ministry’s most important cases.

Across his eight years with ADF, he has shown a particular flair for protecting Christians in the public school or university setting. He’s successfully defended the freedom of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship members at Rutgers University to make Christian faith a requirement of club leadership … the job of a high school history teacher who answered student questions about religion … and the right of then-second-grader Olivia Turton to sing "Awesome God" at her school’s talent show (see Truth & Triumph, Volume II, Issue 3).

"I’m part of a team," Stratis says. "ADF provides its allied attorneys with education, training, legal resources, and the tools we need to fight effectively in a courtroom. Without ADF, we wouldn’t be able to do a lot of what we do."

"As lawyers, we should be willing to do whatever it takes to use our talents to further God’s kingdom. ADF is the best way I know to do that." That’s why he cherishes the memory, he says, of work he did a few years ago on behalf of a "street preacher" who’d been told by city officials that he could no longer share the Gospel on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

"As lawyers, we should be willing to do whatever it takes to use our talents to further God’s kingdom."

Once the preacher had retained Stratis, "I filed the federal court complaint and the briefs," he says. Shortly afterward, city officials called to say, "We’d like to resolve this. Your guy can go on and preach the Gospel." Stratis passed along the glad tidings and went back his crowded caseload. A year later, he got a call from the preacher.

"Seventy souls were saved this year," the man told him, "as a result of what you were able to do."

"That," Stratis says, "is what it’s all about."

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