Freedom of Religion

The freedom to practice whatever religion one chooses, without interference from the government, is one of the founding principles of the United States. So it might come as a surprise that this right was not included in the original Constitution. Instead, it was added in 1791 as part of the First Amendment - which also protects freedom of speech, the press,  and peaceful protest. But given the importance of religion for so many, it's no surprise that this has become a complex area of the law.

What the First Amendment Says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Learn More

Historical Background of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses

Financial Assistance to Church-Related Institutions

Tax Exemptions of Religious Property

Do Religious Groups Have a Right to Access Public Property?

Are Religious Organizations Exempt From Discrimination Laws?

Are Sunday Closing Laws Constitutional?

Regulation of Religious Solicitation

Can There Be Religious Symbols on Government Property?

Religion in Governmental Observances

Non-Financial Constitutional Issues Concerning Religion: Trump v. Hawaii

Can Churches Participate in Government?

The Relationship Between the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and Free Speech Clause

Laws That Require Government Involvement in Resolving Religious Disputes

Laws That Facially Discriminate Against Religious Practices

The Free Exercise Clause

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