U.S. Law Center

What religious rights to U.S. citizens have?

Immigrants to the U.S. often come to this country in search of greater freedoms than they enjoyed in their countries of origin. One essential freedom is the freedom to practice the religion of your choosing, which is an important part of personal expression that this country holds in high regard. Understanding these rights is crucial, as it will allow you to address issues in your community. Tolerance.org offers the following advice. 

All people are free to practice the religion of their choosing according to the first amendment. They're also permitted to gather freely with others of the same religion and worship in a pre-established meeting place. The government is not allowed to interfere with religious gatherings unless it's believed that they pose a threat to public safety or involve some type of criminal wrongdoing. In this case, government officials would be allowed to pursue claims as they would any others. 

The government is not allowed to enforce any laws that are religious in nature. It's also not permitted to endorse one religious belief system over another. The government must remain neutral in matters of religion and must strive to keep religious rules separate from governmental laws and regulations. This prevents one group or religion from gaining authority over others. 

Finally, people must also work to respect those with different religions. Even if you don't agree with a person's belief system, you should still support the person's rights to express his or her beliefs. This is an important founding element of this country, and it's one of the many reason why so many people wish to make a home here. 

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