In the midst of great polarization and division, the principles of freedom of religion and conscience are more important than ever. It is up to each of us to restore civility and mutual respect to our national life and public discourse.
Putting the principles of freedom of religion and conscience into practice strengthens our ability to work across religious, political, and other divides.
Americans -- whether religious or not -- have always held vastly different views, opinions, and beliefs. The American Charter affirms we can still live together in peace and with mutual respect.
Welcome to The American Charter
The American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience is the result of a collaborative initiative to:
- Restore civility to public discourse on religion and freedom of religion and conscience in American society.
- Explore the meaning and value of freedom of religion and conscience as a foundation of American democracy and national and international prosperity.
- Build a multi-faith, non-partisan coalition working to affirm freedom of religion and conscience as a vital safeguard for people of all faiths and none.
The American Charter is grounded in:
- First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
- Article 18 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR.)
First Amendment: Government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.
Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom ... to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
The American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience has been developed in collaboration with scholars, experts, and key representatives of diverse religious and nonreligious constituencies from across the political and ideological spectrum. It will be released Thursday, November 29, 2018.
The American Charter reaffirms and celebrates our nation’s remarkable and exceptionally robust commitment to freedom of religion and conscience for all people.
Our Core values
Affirming our nation’s robust commitment to freedom of religion & conscience
The American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience is an initiative of the Religious Freedom Institute in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion with funding from the Templeton Religion Trust.