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Fortnight for Freedom 2017 Underway!

church steeple flagToday’s feast of the martyrdom of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher marks the beginning of 10 days which have been set aside to focus on religious freedom issues both here and abroad.

The Catholic New Agency is reporting on the event, which kicked off yesterday and runs through July 4. As they have done every year for the past six years, the U.S. bishops have provided a website full of resources and an informative 10-minute video for those who want to use this time to prayerfully and publicly support the need to protect religious liberty.

“Religious freedom is one of the basic freedoms of the human person because without religious freedom, the freedom of conscience, all other freedoms are without foundation,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami says at the beginning of the video.

“A government that doesn’t acknowledge limits on its own power to regulate religious institutions is probably going to come after other institutions as well,” said Professor Rick Garnett of the Notre Dame Law School.

“When religious freedom goes away, and there is no transcendent authority, then the law is the only norm, and the people in power now are always the only power,” says Professor Helen Alvare of George Mason University Law School.

The video also chronicles the struggle between the Little Sisters of the Poor and the HHS mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s over three years now that this issue has been pursuing us,” says Sr. Constance Veit, L.S.P., communications director for the Little Sisters.

Even though the Trump Administration has signaled a new regard for the protection of religious liberty, Americans are still living in an era of unprecedented restriction.

Many of these restrictions are the result of the enforcement of same-sex marriage which has led to a new wave of discrimination against supporters of traditional marriage. Photographers and bakers and wedding venue owners who refuse to participate in the events have had their businesses ruined. County clerks who refuse to perform these marriages have been driven out of their jobs and even jailed.

As difficult as these situations are here at home, it is even worse for Christians living in certain parts of the world where they are being driven out of their homelands, imprisoned, tortured, and killed for the faith.

Christian persecution watchdog groups report that Christianity is now the most persecuted religion on earth. Between 2005 and 2015, nearly one million Christians were martyred worldwide. Just last year, an estimated 90,000 Christians lost their lives with a third of those deaths attributable to Islamic extremism.

Although brighter days may be ahead for Americans under the current administration, we still have a long way to go.

Click here for more information on how you can become involved in restoring religious liberty in our country and our world!

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