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Religious Freedom and the Church

From government mandates to public accommodation laws to employment issues, churches must understand what is and isn't constitutionally protected.

Religious Freedom and the Church

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This language has been foundational to the religious liberty that millions of people have enjoyed in this country for nearly 250 years.

Courts have interpreted the First Amendment through countless decisions since the First Amendment's adoption, dramatically affecting the protections it affords to both people and houses of worship alike. The US Congress and state legislatures have adopted laws further shaping its scope and reach. Understanding how these numerous developments work is vitally important to pastors and church leaders--and this Church Law & Tax Recommended Reading page is designed to help build that understanding.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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  • August 26, 2021

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