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Institute Celebrates Religious Freedom Day

Contact: Kevin Fahey, Institute on Religion and Public Policy, 202-835-8760, fahey@religionandpolicy.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- In recognition of January 16 as National Religious Freedom Day, Institute on Religion and Public Policy President Joseph K. Grieboski released the following statement:

“Religious Freedom Day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, authored by Thomas Jefferson and made into law on January 16, 1786.

The document was a precursor for the protection of religious freedom nationally, later embodied in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Jefferson argued in this 793-word decree that compulsion in religion, especially by one’s government, is fundamentally flawed and interferes with ‘the natural rights of mankind.’

Religious Freedom Day should act as a significant reminder of the great liberties that are enjoyed by all Americans each day. Freedom of religion is the first freedom that our Constitution guarantees, as it is the foundation of all other freedoms. We as a people must work to ensure that these liberties remain woven into the fabric of human society both at home and abroad.”