As America marked Religious Freedom Day, Thursday, some questioned whether these liberties will continue to exist as society turns increasingly progressive.
Every year on this day since 1993 the president has issued a proclamation commemorating the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom enacted in 1786.
The statute, written by Thomas Jefferson, is the basis for the religious freedom guarantee in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Will religious liberty survive in America? Emily Hardman, with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, discusses this and more, on CBN Newswatch, Jan. 16.
It reads in part: "No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever..." and that "all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion..."
"Each year, the president declares Jan. 16 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,'" ReligiousFreedomDay.com explains.
Schools are also officially encouraged to recognize the day during the school week leading up to Jan. 16. One of the goals of recognizing the day is to promote and protect students' freedom of religious expression.
"We call upon America's public schools, to honor of this day by acting on the request of the U.S. Department of Education by distributing its guidelines clarifying students' religious freedom," the Religious Freedom Day Coalition said in a joint statement.
"We look forward to the day when every school administrator, educator, parent, and student is fully informed of religious liberty on campus and schools promote and honor those freedoms in their classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and cafeterias," the group said.