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
A letter sent by a leading civil rights organization calls for an investigation into allegations made by immigrant detainees of widespread religious liberty violations while in custody.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s ruling that struck down the religious housing tax exemption as unconstitutional on church-state grounds.
A decision by the Montana Supreme Court, striking down a tuition tax credit program as unconstitutional because it allowed funding for religious schools, may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The United States’ legal tradition of protecting religious liberty seldom operates in absolute terms; religious liberty is not protected the same way in every context.
Approximately one in three countries has at least one blasphemy law on the books, which are common tools used by governments in oppressing freedom of belief and expression.
Organizations like the BJC are active in fighting hate. Safety is no longer just an illusion or willful denial – it’s simply not a reality for many.