For immediate release

August 1, 2018

U.S. Attorney General Announces New Task Force to Protect Religious Freedom

On Monday, July 30, at the Department of Justice’s Religious Liberty Summit, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of a new Religious Liberty Task Force to defend the rights of citizens to freely practice their chosen faith.

“Freedom of religion is indeed our ‘first freedom’—being the first listed right of our First Amendment,” said Mr. Sessions in his Summit speech. “This has been a core American principle from the beginning.”

Jeff Sessions
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recently made religious freedom a Justice Department priority.

He went on to describe how Pilgrims, Catholics, Quakers and Scottish Presbyterians sought and found refuge in early America.

“There can be no doubt that we are stronger as a nation because of the contribution of religious Americans.”

“Each one of these groups and others knew what it was like to be hated, persecuted, outnumbered, and discriminated against,” he said. “Each one knew what it was like to have a majority try to force them to deny their natural right to practice the faith they held dear.”

“…There can be no doubt that we are stronger as a nation because of the contribution of religious Americans,” he added. “And this Department of Justice is going to court across America to defend the rights of people of faith.”

Mr. Sessions announced that the Task Force will serve to carry out the Department of Justice’s religious liberty guidance and will be co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy Beth Williams.

“We are very pleased that Mr. Sessions is taking measures to protect this nation’s people from religious discrimination and we are prepared to assist any such endeavor in any way we can,” said STAND’s International Director, Edward Parkin.

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