top of page Skip to main content
Ekstrom Library

Government Resources: Society: Religious Freedom

About Religious Freedom

Promotion of religious freedom is a core objective of U.S. foreign policy, as codified in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRF Act). U.S. advocacy for religious freedom is grounded in our commitment to advance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide. The vast majority of the world's population has some religious belief or identification. The right to believe or not to believe, without fear of government interference or restriction, is a basic human right. It provides an essential foundation for a society based on human dignity, robust civil society, and sustainable democracy. This principle holds a central place in American culture, values, and history. It is also a global concern, articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Source: International Religious Freedom Report 2010, U.S. Department of State.

George Washington Letter to Touro Synagogue, 1790

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 62) expressing the sense of Congress that the George Washington letter to Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, which is on display at the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, DC, is one of the most significant early statements buttressing the nascent American constitutional guarantee of religious freedom… Source House Of Representatives,  Report 107-143.

Discover. Create. Succeed.