Religious Freedom Day


The President’s official proclamation of Religious Freedom Day recognizes the basis for the First Amendment.  On January 16, 1786 Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom was passed by the Virginia General Assembly repudiating the status of The Church of England as the official religion of Virginia.

Jefferson was motivated by the infringement on religious freedom for any other than Anglicans (Episcopalians) in Virginia.  His ideas for religious freedom originated with his experiences with Baptist congregations who suffered persecution in the state.

Jefferson’s efforts led to freedom of religion for all Americans.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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