Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is a core American value protected by the Constitution, and ensures that people of all faiths are allowed to practice their faith free from intimidation and discrimination. The promise of religious freedom is one of the primary reasons that immigrants move to the United States to build a new life for themselves and their families.

MPAC works in coalition with a wide variety of interfaith partners -- spanning nearly a dozen faiths -- to enhance interreligious understanding and support religious freedom for all Americans.

In the face of a spike in religious intolerance directed toward American Muslims, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a stirring speech against the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty. In the speech, he argued passionately for religious freedom. Standing alongside a diverse group of New York interfaith leaders, Mayor Bloomberg stressed that "this nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another... Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God's love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest."

During his remarks at the White House's annual iftar held in September 2010, President Barack Obama stressed the central value of religious freedom, saying America should "treat everyone equal regardless" of religion. He noted that Americans of various faiths seeking to build their houses of worship have faced discrimination in the past, they were able to overcome those challenges and enriched our nation's pluralism in the process.


Aziza Hasan

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