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May/June 2011

Discover more articles from this issue.

Special Pleading for the Persecuted

On Friday, August 14, 1998, Samir Oweida Hakim and Kamer Tamer Arsal, two Coptic Christians, were murdered in the village of el-Kosheh near Luxor in Upper...

A Fundamental Principle

Our Nation was founded on a shared commitment to the values of justice, freedom, and equality. On Religious Freedom Day we commemorate Virginia’s...

Tough Love

Part Three in a Series

Rendering Unto Caesar

Cornerstone World Outreach Church in Sious City, Iowa, is a boxy and unimposing structure that looks more like a suburban high school that the focal point...

We Must Not Be Intimidated

Sulema Jahangir, accepting for Asma Jahangir, presented her mother

A Message of Encouragement

It is a great honor for me to receive the First Freedom National Award in the city of Richmond. We are just footsteps away from the place where the...

Honoring Freedom

Excerpt from First Freedom Center Press Release

Global Warning


Anguish and Anger

The turmoil in Egypt has led to the spilling of considerable quantities of ink and blood since it all started on January 25. The regime of Hosni Mubarak is...

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Published in the May/June 2011 Magazine
by Barack H. Obama

Our Nation was founded on a shared commitment to the values of justice, freedom, and equality. On Religious Freedom Day we commemorate Virginia’s 1786 Statute for Religious Freedom, in which Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion.” The fundamental principle of religious freedom—guarded by our Founders and enshrined in our Constitution’s First Amendment—continues to protect rich faiths flourishing within our borders . . . .

Across the globe we also seek to uphold this human right and to foster tolerance and peace with those whose beliefs differ from our own. We bear witness to those who are persecuted or attacked because of their faith. We condemn the attacks made in recent months against Christians in Iraq and Egypt, along with attacks against people of all backgrounds and beliefs. The United States stands with those who advocate for free religious expression and works to protect the rights of  all people to follow their conscience, free from persecution and discrimination.

Excerpted from U.S. president Barack Obama’s January 14, 2011, “Presidential Proclamation on Religious Freedom Day 2011.”

Author: Barack H. Obama

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