Each year since 1993, the President declares January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” and calls upon Americans to “observe this day through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools, and places of worship.” It’s not the day you get to have religious freedom! It’s a day to celebrate the freedom we have year ‘round.
It’s the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom. Thomas Jefferson drafted the legislation and considered it one of his greatest achievements. It protected the rights of people to express their religious beliefs without suffering discrimination and it influenced how the First Amendment was written just three years later.
It’s a great opportunity for students to learn a civics lesson about their religious freedom at school. Ask your school to recognize the Day, and have teachers give students a list of their freedoms to express their faith in class.
For more information on Religious Freedom Day and the list of freedoms students have, click on the link below.