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When is National Religious Freedom Day?

January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day.

What is National Religious Freedom Day?

Americans love religious freedom. It’s the first freedom listed in the Bill of Rights, and it’s the reasons the Pilgrims came here in the first place. We set aside National Religious Freedom Day to celebrate this liberty and protect the right of religious expression.

Religious Freedom lets us worship however we see fit (within reason) without fear that civil authorities will imprison us, kill us, or steal our cattle and land. National Religious Freedom Day remembers the 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which influenced the religious freedom clause in the First Amendment.

Across the nation, people use National Religious Freedom Day to express gratitude for the blessings of liberty and to promote religious tolerance around the world.

Fun facts about National Religious Freedom Day!

  • President George Bush Sr. inaugurated the first National Religious Freedom Day in 1973.
  • Religious freedom is not globally recognized. A 2012 study by Pew Research Center found that Christians experience the most global discrimination (harassed in 168 countries). Muslims are second (persecuted in 121 countries), and Jews are third (mistreated in 85 countries).
  • Every major world region saw religious hostilities increase in 2012, except the Americas.

How to celebrate National Religious Freedom Day:

  • Talk to your house of worship about hosting a religious freedom event.
  • Start open, respectful conversations. Explore the differences between what you believe and what your coworkers, fellow students, or neighbors believe. It can take a bit of boldness sometimes, but genuine curiosity about what others believe can often diffuse people’s discomfort with the topic.
  • Parents can ask school boards to officially recognize Religious Freedom Day and to approve of commemorations in local schools.

What’s the hashtag for National Religious Freedom Day?

Use #ReligiousFreedomDay on social media to celebrate your religious liberty.