Washington D.C., Jan 16, 2020 / 15:55 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The White House announced new rules from nine federal agencies Thursday to help ensure that religious groups have equal access to public benefit programs.
On Jan. 16, Religious Freedom Day, President Donald Trump announced the rules “to protect religious freedom” throughout his administration. Nine federal agencies issued proposed regulations to allow religious institutions equal access to government grants.
The agencies were the Departments of Justice, Agriculture, Labor, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans’ Affairs, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“From its opening pages, the story of America has been rooted in the truth that all men and women are endowed with the right to follow their conscience, worship freely, and live in accordance with their convictions,” President Trump stated in his Proclamation on Religious Freedom Day, 2020.
“On Religious Freedom Day, we honor the foundational link between freedom and faith in our country and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding the religious liberty of all Americans.”
The regulations seek to ensure that federal government social service programs are administered in line with the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so that religious groups are not barred simply on account of their religious status.