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Written by Don Byrd, these updates bring together the latest news impacting the conversation around religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

Proposed Labor Department rule would expand right of federally funded contractors to discriminate based on religion

Proposed Labor Department rule would expand right of federally funded contractors to discriminate based on religion

This week, the Trump administration announced a new Labor Department rule that would broaden protections for employers who receive federal contracts to be able to hire and fire employees on the basis of the employer’s religious beliefs.
3rd Circuit upholds cross on county seal, citing Supreme Court’s Bladensburg cross ruling

3rd Circuit upholds cross on county seal, citing Supreme Court’s Bladensburg cross ruling

A ruling issued by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case out of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, offers the first case to lean heavily on the Supreme Court's Bladensburg cross case decision.
“Back to School Worship Service” in Alabama high school proceeds despite complaint

“Back to School Worship Service” in Alabama high school proceeds despite complaint

A public high school in Fyffe, Alabama, held a back-to-school worship service, causing controversy.
Statement against Christian nationalism garners 10,000 Christian signatories (and counting)

Statement against Christian nationalism garners 10,000 Christian signatories (and counting)

The Christians Against Christian Nationalism initiative, led by BJC and endorsed by many different Christian organizations, is less than two weeks old, but has already garnered more than 10,000 signatures as Christians across the country take a stand against Christian nationalism.
Judge orders graduation prayers to stop in South Carolina school district

Judge orders graduation prayers to stop in South Carolina school district

In South Carolina, a court's ruling more effectively bars prayers at graduation ceremonies unless they are entirely student-led and initiated.
“In God We Trust” going up in schools around the country this fall

“In God We Trust” going up in schools around the country this fall

As displays of "In God We Trust" are being posted in public schools in South Dakota, reports say many school staff members are “very uncomfortable” with the display, and a student proposal for a more inclusive alternative was ignored.
Pew Poll: Americans lack basic knowledge of religions other than Christianity

Pew Poll: Americans lack basic knowledge of religions other than Christianity

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, most Americans cannot correctly answer basic questions about religion apart from questions about the Bible and Christianity. Religious and civic literacy are essential tools in protecting and understanding our neighbors in an increasingly diverse society.
U.S. State Department announces new religious freedom initiative at second annual Ministerial

U.S. State Department announces new religious freedom initiative at second annual Ministerial

At the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, leaders from around the world and from a large diversity of faith traditions to discuss religious freedom challenges faced around the world. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of an International Religious Freedom Alliance.
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