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January 16, 2014

Religious Freedom Day

The Obama administration proclaimed today, January 16, 2014 as Religious Freedom Day to, as quoted from the President's Proclamation, "celebrate America's legacy of religious liberty, embrace diversity in our own communities, and resolve once more to advance religious freedom in our time." January 16 was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson, in 1786. This statute provided the basis for religious freedom in the First Ammendment.

The U.S. Department of Justice also published a blog post about issues of relgious protection today, namely enforcement of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) passed in 2000. This act protects the ability of religious communities to build places of worship and other religious institutions, and the ability of prisoners and other persons confined to institutions to continue to practice their faiths. To see the full blog post, click here.

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