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DANGEROUS MOVEMENT ERODING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA (22 Oct 2018)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced the creation of a new Religious Liberty Task Force, which is designed to help implement the sweeping religious freedom guidance he issued last year. Speaking at a religious liberty summit hosted by the Justice Department, Sessions declared that there is a “dangerous movement” that is “undetected by many” that is “challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom.”  Sessions stated bluntly. “It must be confronted and defeated.” The department’s summit came days after the State Department wrapped up its first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

President Trump instructed Sessions last year to guide agencies on how to best uphold and promote religious freedom. In response Sessions issued religious freedom guidance to all federal agencies. “Today I am announcing the Religious Liberty Task Force, to be co-chaired by the Associate Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy” Sessions stated. “The Task Force will help the Department implement our religious liberty guidance by ensuring that all Justice Departments are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments, policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.

During his speech, Sessions criticized today’s political culture that he says has put principles of faith “under attack.” “But in recent years, the cultural climate in this country, and in the West generally, has become less hospitable to people of faith. Many Americans have felt that their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack,” he said. “And it’s easy to see why. We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives. We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma, even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Christian baker Jack Phillips.”

Sessions explained that the Justice Department has gone to court many times since Trump has taken office to defend the religious freedom of Americans, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or of other faith. Sessions added that his department has also settled 24 civil cases affecting over 90 plaintiffs pertaining to the Obamacare contraception mandate requiring religious organizations to be complicit in providing health care services they find morally objectionable in their employee health plans. In addition the department has achieved seven convictions and 11 indictments in cases involving arson or other attacks or threats to various houses of worship.

Under this administration, the federal government is not just reacting, we are actively seeking to accommodate people of faith.”

Source: The Christian Post