As one of the largest religious legal nonprofits in the country—defending religious freedoms, parental rights, sanctity of life, and other civil liberties—Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is celebrating 25 years of diligently providing its clients with “exceptional legal support completely funded by generous supporters.”
Founded in 1997 by Brad Dacus in response to the growing threats to religious and civil liberties, PJI comprises a network of volunteer affiliate attorneys from coast to coast. From humble beginnings in a single office in Sacramento, California, PJI has expanded its national footprint through satellite offices across the nation, including California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington. With twenty-seven offices in total, PJI has more offices nationwide than any other religious liberty legal defense firm in America. In addition to its extensive reach within the States, PJI has an international impact, having defended clients in countries such as China, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Nigeria. Currently, PJI has over 100 cases in active litigation.
The service of hundreds of volunteer attorneys and donations from faithful PJI supporters allow the organization to provide legal aid without charge. “The more cases we continue to take on, the more people we help, and the more support comes in,” Dacus said. “God has been faithful to bring in the support and to bring in attorneys that will rise to the challenges as cases continue to increase beyond our expectations.”
Rather than cherry-picking cases with a high profile in the media, PJI provides all individuals with legal aid and expertise. Recently, PJI attorneys filed a 28-page lawsuit on behalf of a Christian employed by Miami-Dade County in Florida who was fired for writing an op-ed during his private time on issues of the Equality Act, abortion on demand, the LGBTQ+ community, and transgenderism.
“We’ve never had federal courts and the Supreme Court this committed to religious freedoms, parents’ rights, and the sanctity of life,” said Dacus. “We at Pacific Justice Institute are proactive in protecting the thousands that we assist and represent because we are confident that we will continue to see God’s grace.”
In addition to responding to legal defense requests, PJI airs “The Legal Edge,” a short weekly radio segment, and “The Dacus Report,” a half-hour weekly show. Both broadcasts are heard on 800+ stations globally. Dacus is also the host of the Brad Dacus LIVE TV show that airs daily on HisChannel. In addition to the legal organization’s media presence, PJI produces dozens of educational legal resources and white papers to assist parents, churches, pastors, business owners, and individuals in navigating legal waters. These resources cover religious freedoms, parental rights, churches, and business leaders.
“The intensity of spiritual warfare is greater now than ever before,” said Dacus. “About 30 percent of our cases were defending ministers who were being criminally prosecuted for preaching and sharing the Gospel in public places, and we had to step in time and time again to defend them and ensure that those avenues of evangelism are not shut down.”
Dacus added, “We will continue to see cases that will try to silence the Christian worldview.”
On developing excellence in Christian communications, Dacus remarked, “An effective communicator is one that loves and cares for the people they’re addressing, seeking to provide them with the help and inspiration the audience needs.” Dacus reminded Christian communicators to stay in tune with the Holy Spirit, being mindful not to rely on the flesh, but to speak from the prompting of the Spirit.
“Be vulnerable,” Dacus shared. “It’s about connecting with the audience, and that often means unveiling your own inadequacies. Be open to God’s leading and surrender to His prompting.”
Dacus also urged Christians to keep it simple in communicating with the public. “Attorneys sometimes like to hide behind high-profile case names and statute numbers to legitimize their expertise, and in doing so they often lose the audience. Keep it simple, keep it understandable so that the person and audiences you are trying to reach can understand and accurately apply those truths to their lives.”
This Saturday, PJI will host its 2022 Celebration of Justice in Anaheim, California, in honor of its 25th anniversary. NRB congratulates PJI on this milestone and commends Dacus and the PJI team for their tireless work in defending and protecting our First Amendment freedoms.