Schools and Learning

The Rights of Religious Minorities

Religious freedom is about equality. In a nation whose founders firmly prohibited an established church, we shouldn’t treat people differently because of what they believe. Yet many religious minorities in America still face discrimination.

For example, during the Trump administration, citizens of several majority-Muslim countries were denied entry to the U.S. And even today, students of minority faiths are sometimes treated as outsiders by school officials who try to force them to conform to their community’s majority religion. Synagogues, mosques, Black churches, Sikh temples, and other houses of worship have become targets of hate crimes.

In the face of this frightening trend of violence and discimination, Americans United continues to fight to protect the rights of religious minorities to practice their faith without government interference or discrimination.

What You Should Know

Minority Report

American Jews and Muslims are much more likely to report religious discrimination and hostility than Christians, according to 2020 research.

Prejudice in Prison

Imprisoned Muslims are often denied access to Qurans, prayer mats, and food after sunset during Ramadan despite the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits substantially burdening a prisoner’s exercise of their religion.

From Protecting Minorities to Harming Them

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was passed in 1993 with AU’s support after a Supreme Court decision denied religious rights to two Native American plaintiffs. While RFRA continues to protect religious minority rights, it is now also being used as a license to discriminate in the name of religion. AU supports the Do No Harm Act which will remedy the misuse of RFRA.

BREAKING:

AU calls out leaked supreme court opinion overturning abortion rights as a religious extremist assault on our democracy

"The end of Roe is just the beginning. Next on the hit list are a broad array of protections for personal liberty."—Rachel Laser, AU's CEO and President

Read our statement here