The Baptist Joint Committee is the only faith-based agency devoted solely to religious liberty and the institutional separation of church and state. Since 1936, the BJC has continuously provided reliable leadership on church-state issues as it leads coalitions of groups striving to protect both the free exercise of religion and to defend against its establishment by government. Read more.
Baptists value religious freedom and separation of church and state because we suffered the hard lessons of history. The Baptist commitment to religious liberty is centered on our freedom to worship without efforts by the government to advance or restrain religion. God has made us all free – free to say yes, free to say no, and free to make up our own minds about our spiritual destiny. The BJC believes that a threat to anyone’s religious liberty is a threat to everyone‘s liberty. Read more
The separation of church and state is a shorthand metaphor for expressing a deeper truth: religious liberty is best protected when church and state are institutionally separated and neither tries to perform or interfere with the mission and work of the other. It does not require a “segregation” of religion from public life, but it serves both religion clauses in the First Amendment, insisting upon no establishment of religion and ensuring the free exercise of religion. Read more
Sanctions authorized by the International Religious Freedom Act have been used only twice in the 20 years of the law’s existence, but Politico reports that may be changing.
Because school children are especially vulnerable to coercion, the 9th Circuit ruled a California school district’s practice of opening meetings with prayer unconstitutional.
Opening a 3-day State Department summit, U.S. Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback told a gathering of leaders from around the world that mere tolerance of religious difference is not enough.
We must protect all of our churches and religious beliefs about marriage and — at the same time — recognize as citizens and Christians that we should treat all equally and without regard to religious differences in the commercial marketplace.
This year, we saw a blizzard of news items that impact religious liberty and the separation of church and state. The list of 2017’s top stories includes areas of concern that came to the forefront this year, as well as news items affecting issues we watch every year.
We all have a role to play in safeguarding religious freedom for all.