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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

White House Announces Religious Freedom Day

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump publicly proclaimed January 16 as the national day of religious freedom. He called on Americans to celebrate the day, so as to "remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty." The president's announcement addressed both religious freedom internationally and within the United States.

In his speech, President Trump first emphasized the United States' unique role in encouraging and maintaining religious liberties. He also reminded the public of his commitment to early American principles, which will assist our "fundamental freedom underlying our democracy."  The proclamation also promised continued condemnation of extremism, terrorism, and violence against people of faith as we "strive for the day when people of all faiths can follow their hearts and worship according to their consciences."

Each year, the president will declare January 16 as Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1786, written by former President Thomas Jefferson.

ICC's Advocacy Manager, Nate Lance, said of the proclamation, "President Trump's announcement of January 16 as Religious Freedom Day is extremely welcome and extraordinarily timely. This proclamation is a critical message that demonstrates solidarity with those being persecuted for their beliefs. To this end, we hope the Senate will follow the administration's lead by swiftly confirming Gov. Brownback as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.  This role is vital in furthering religious freedom as a centerpiece of our country's foreign policy.  We agree with President Trump as he stated, 'Faith breathes life and hope into our world.' It is ICC's prayer that this announcement will result in greater attention being paid to the cause of religious freedom.


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Publication date: January 16, 2018