President Donald Trump proclaimed Jan. 16, 2018 as Religious Freedom Day in the U.S., The White House announced Tuesday morning.
Every year the president will declare Jan. 16 as Religious Freedom Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1786, written by former President Thomas Jefferson. Tuesday makes 232 years since the Virginia General Assembly passed the statue.
In Trump’s proclamation, he encouraged Americans to celebrate the many faiths throughout the U.S., and explained in detail why he believes faith and religious freedom are important.
“Faith is embedded in the history, spirit, and soul of our Nation. On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the many faiths that make up our country,” Trump said. “Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.”
Trump made it clear in his proclamation that no American should be forced to choose between faith and law.
“No American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenants of faith or adherence to the law,” Trump said. “The free exercise of religion is a source of personal and national stability, and its preservation is essential to protecting human dignity. Religious diversity strengthens our communities and promotes tolerance, respect, understanding, and equality. Faith breathes life and hope into our world. We must diligently guard, preserve, and cherish this unalienable right.”
The president also mentioned that he signed an executive order in May that set back restrictions placed on churches to keep them from being politically active in order to remain exempt from taxes.
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