Jeff Sessions Issues Sweeping Religious Freedom Guidance to All Federal Agencies

Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions is instructing all federal agencies to ensure to the “greatest extent practicable and permitted by law” that the religious beliefs of people, businesses, churches and other organizations are accommodated and not burdened by the federal government.In response to President Donald Trump’s executive order in May, which called on the Department of Justice to issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in federal law and guide all agencies in compliance, the Justice Department issued a sweeping guidance on religious freedom that was released Friday.”The Free Exercise Clause protects not just the right to believe or the right to worship; it protects the right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one’s beliefs,” Sessions wrote in the 25-page document. “Federal statutes, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, support that protection, broadly defining the exercise of religion to encompass all aspects of observance and practice, whether or not central to, or required by a particular religious faith.”

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