Religious Freedom Day, 2020, 3537-3538 [2020-01058]

Download as PDF 3537 Presidential Documents Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 13 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 Title 3— Proclamation 9976 of January 15, 2020 The President Religious Freedom Day, 2020 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation From its opening pages, the story of America has been rooted in the truth that all men and women are endowed with the right to follow their conscience, worship freely, and live in accordance with their convictions. On Religious Freedom Day, we honor the foundational link between freedom and faith in our country and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding the religious liberty of all Americans. Religious freedom in America, often referred to as our ‘‘first freedom,’’ was a driving force behind some of the earliest defining moments of our American identity. The desire for religious freedom impelled the Pilgrims to leave their homes in Europe and journey to a distant land, and it is the reason so many others seeking to live out their faith or change their faith have made America their home. More than 230 years ago, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was authored and championed by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson famously expounded that ‘‘all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.’’ This statute served as the catalyst for the First Amendment, which enshrined in law our conviction to prevent government interference in religion. More than 200 years later, thanks to the power of that Amendment, America is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PRESDOC0 Since I took office, my Administration has been committed to protecting religious liberty. In May 2017, I signed an Executive Order to advance religious freedom for individuals and institutions, and I stopped the Johnson Amendment from interfering with pastors’ right to speak their minds. Over the last 3 years, the Department of Justice has obtained 14 convictions in cases involving attacks or threats against places of worship. To fight the rise of anti-Semitism in our country, I signed an Executive Order last month to ensure that Federal agencies are using nondiscrimination authorities to combat this venomous bigotry. I have also made clear that my Administration will not tolerate the violation of any American’s ability to worship freely and openly and to live as his or her faith commands. My Administration also remains cognizant of the stark realities for people seeking religious liberty abroad and has made protecting religious minorities a core pillar of my Administration’s foreign policy. Repressive governments persecute religious worshipers using high-tech surveillance, mass detention, and torture, while terrorist organizations carry out barbaric violence against innocent victims on account of their religion. To cast a light on these abuses, in July 2019, I welcomed survivors of religious persecution from 16 countries into the Oval Office. These survivors included Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who all shared similar stories of persecution. At the United Nations in September, I called on global leaders to take concrete steps to prevent state and non-state actors from attacking citizens for their beliefs and to help ensure the sanctity and safety of places of worship. And, VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:50 Jan 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21JAD0.SGM 21JAD0 3538 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 13 / Tuesday, January 21, 2020 / Presidential Documents last summer, the State Department convened its second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, where our diplomats engaged a broad range of stakeholders in government and civil society, both religious and secular, to identify concrete ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination around the world and ensure greater respect for freedom of religion and belief. On this Religious Freedom Day, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting the precious and fundamental right of religious freedom, both at home and abroad. Our Founders entrusted the American people with a responsibility to protect religious liberty so that our Nation may stand as a bright beacon for the rest of the world. Today, we remain committed to that sacred endeavor and strive to support those around the world who still struggle under oppressive regimes that impose restrictions on freedom of religion. NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2020, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty and that teach us how to secure this blessing both at home and around the world. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth. [FR Doc. 2020–01058 Filed 1–17–20; 11:15 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:50 Jan 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21JAD0.SGM 21JAD0 Trump.EPS</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PRESDOC0 Billing code 3295–F0–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 13 (Tuesday, January 21, 2020)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 3537-3538]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-01058]



[[Page 3535]]

Vol. 85

Tuesday,

No. 13

January 21, 2020

Part III





The President





-----------------------------------------------------------------------



Proclamation 9976--Religious Freedom Day, 2020


                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 85 , No. 13 / Tuesday, January 21, 2020 / 
Presidential Documents

___________________________________________________________________

Title 3--
The President

[[Page 3537]]

                Proclamation 9976 of January 15, 2020

                
Religious Freedom Day, 2020

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                From its opening pages, the story of America has been 
                rooted in the truth that all men and women are endowed 
                with the right to follow their conscience, worship 
                freely, and live in accordance with their convictions. 
                On Religious Freedom Day, we honor the foundational 
                link between freedom and faith in our country and 
                reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding the religious 
                liberty of all Americans.

                Religious freedom in America, often referred to as our 
                ``first freedom,'' was a driving force behind some of 
                the earliest defining moments of our American identity. 
                The desire for religious freedom impelled the Pilgrims 
                to leave their homes in Europe and journey to a distant 
                land, and it is the reason so many others seeking to 
                live out their faith or change their faith have made 
                America their home.

                More than 230 years ago, the Virginia General Assembly 
                passed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, 
                which was authored and championed by Thomas Jefferson. 
                Jefferson famously expounded that ``all men shall be 
                free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their 
                opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same 
                shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their 
                civil capacities.'' This statute served as the catalyst 
                for the First Amendment, which enshrined in law our 
                conviction to prevent government interference in 
                religion. More than 200 years later, thanks to the 
                power of that Amendment, America is one of the most 
                religiously diverse nations in the world.

                Since I took office, my Administration has been 
                committed to protecting religious liberty. In May 2017, 
                I signed an Executive Order to advance religious 
                freedom for individuals and institutions, and I stopped 
                the Johnson Amendment from interfering with pastors' 
                right to speak their minds. Over the last 3 years, the 
                Department of Justice has obtained 14 convictions in 
                cases involving attacks or threats against places of 
                worship. To fight the rise of anti-Semitism in our 
                country, I signed an Executive Order last month to 
                ensure that Federal agencies are using 
                nondiscrimination authorities to combat this venomous 
                bigotry. I have also made clear that my Administration 
                will not tolerate the violation of any American's 
                ability to worship freely and openly and to live as his 
                or her faith commands.

                My Administration also remains cognizant of the stark 
                realities for people seeking religious liberty abroad 
                and has made protecting religious minorities a core 
                pillar of my Administration's foreign policy. 
                Repressive governments persecute religious worshipers 
                using high-tech surveillance, mass detention, and 
                torture, while terrorist organizations carry out 
                barbaric violence against innocent victims on account 
                of their religion. To cast a light on these abuses, in 
                July 2019, I welcomed survivors of religious 
                persecution from 16 countries into the Oval Office. 
                These survivors included Christians, Jews, and Muslims, 
                who all shared similar stories of persecution. At the 
                United Nations in September, I called on global leaders 
                to take concrete steps to prevent state and non-state 
                actors from attacking citizens for their beliefs and to 
                help ensure the sanctity and safety of places of 
                worship. And,

[[Page 3538]]

                last summer, the State Department convened its second 
                Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, where our 
                diplomats engaged a broad range of stakeholders in 
                government and civil society, both religious and 
                secular, to identify concrete ways to combat religious 
                persecution and discrimination around the world and 
                ensure greater respect for freedom of religion and 
                belief.

                On this Religious Freedom Day, we reaffirm our 
                commitment to protecting the precious and fundamental 
                right of religious freedom, both at home and abroad. 
                Our Founders entrusted the American people with a 
                responsibility to protect religious liberty so that our 
                Nation may stand as a bright beacon for the rest of the 
                world. Today, we remain committed to that sacred 
                endeavor and strive to support those around the world 
                who still struggle under oppressive regimes that impose 
                restrictions on freedom of religion.

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the 
                United States of America, by virtue of the authority 
                vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the 
                United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2020, as 
                Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to 
                commemorate this day with events and activities that 
                remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty 
                and that teach us how to secure this blessing both at 
                home and around the world.

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United 
                States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. 2020-01058
Filed 1-17-20; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3295-F0-P