Religious Freedom Day 2012

Religious Freedom Day is observed on January 16th, which is the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1786. That statute, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was the basis for the First Amendment to the Constitution.

We are so blessed to have freedom of religion in this country. In many parts of the world, people do not have the right to worship as they choose. Christian pastor Youcef Nedarkhani is facing execution in Iran because he was raised in a Muslim home and converted to Christianity. In the United States, we can be raised in a Muslim home and convert to Christianity or raised in a Christian home and convert to Islam. In matters of faith, we answer only to our God, not to our country or to anyone else.

MOST gracious God who gives us more than we deserve, we yield thee unfeigned thanks and praise for the freedom to worship thee without fear and for all the other blessings of thy merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we beseech thee, show thy mercy upon thy servants who live where they lack the same freedom; give them strength to stand fast in their faith in the face of adversity; protect them and give them thy peace that passes understanding; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen.

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