National Religious Freedom Day
Since 1993, the President of the United States has proclaimed January 16 as National Religious Freedom Day, commemorating the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson‘s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786.
The idea of Freedom of Religion is enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
The United States policy is that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’ (Article 18 Universal Declaration of Human Rights). To advance this policy, the United States marks October 27 annually as International Religious Freedom (IRF) Day.
- Why Religious Freedom Matters to Americans
- United States Takes Action Against Violators of Religious Freedom