The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the hiring rights of World Vision and other federally funded, faith-based groups by refusing to review a lower court decision in favor of the international relief organization.

The high court announced it would not accept a case in which former World Vision employees sued the organization for firing them when it was discovered they did not agree with its doctrinal statement.

The ex-employees appealed to the high court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld World Vision’s right to hire and fire employees based on its religious beliefs in a 2010 ruling. Voting 2-1, the Ninth Circuit panel affirmed that World Vision is a religious organization that qualifies for an exemption from religious job discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The panel, which upheld the opinion of a federal court in the state of Washington, said World Vision did not unlawfully discriminate when it dismissed three employees after it learned they no longer believed in the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity. All three had agreed with World Vision’s confession of faith and provided testimonies of their faith in Christ when they were hired.

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