Organizations Engaged in Religious Freed Issues
Inclusion in this list does not constitute endorsement. Religious liberty organizations often work together on issues of mutual concern, but we also find ourselves on opposite sides on other issues. Each organization has its unique set of interests and perspectives. The descriptions are taken from the organization’s own website. Exclusion from this list is not intended to insult or demean the work of any organization. To inquire about including your organization in the list, send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alliance Defense Fund. www.alliancedefensefund.org. The Alliance Defense Fund is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.
The American Center for Law and Justice. www.aclj.org. The ACLJ is specifically dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights. The Center's purpose is to educate, promulgate, conciliate, and where necessary, litigate, to ensure that those rights are protected under the law.
The American Civil Liberties Union. www.aclu.org. The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
The American Jewish Committee. www.ajc.org. AJC has worked since 1906 to safeguard and strengthen Jews and Jewish life worldwide by promoting democratic and pluralistic societies that respect the dignity of all peoples.
The American Jewish Congress. www.ajcongress.org. The American Jewish Congress is an association of Jewish Americans organized to defend Jewish interests at home and abroad through public policy advocacy - using diplomacy, legislation, and the courts.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State. www.au.org. Americans United (AU) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, www.adl.org, is a Jewish organization that is active on many religious freedom issues. Its mission statement: “The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens."
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, www.bjconline.org; The mission of the Baptist Joint Committee is to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, www.becketfund.org, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a bipartisan and ecumenical, public-interest law firm that protects the free expression of all religious traditions.
Christian Legal Society, Center for Law and Religious Freedom, www.clsnet.org, Through litigation, legislative advocacy, friend of the court briefs, and public education, Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom works to protect the religious liberty of all Americans and the sanctity of human life.
First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum, www.freedomforum.org, The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The foundation focuses on three main priorities: the Newseum, First Amendment freedoms and newsroom diversity.
Friends Committee on National Legislation. www.fcnl.org. The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington, DC. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL staff and volunteers work with a nationwide network of tens of thousands of people from many different races, religions, and cultures to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government. FCNL is nonpartisan.
Home School Legal Defense Association. www.hslda.org. Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.
Institute on Religion and Public Policy. www.religionandpolicy.org. An international, inter-religious non-profit organization, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring freedom of religion as the foundation for security, stability, and democracy. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute recognizes that religious freedom is more than just a church-state issue. As such, the Institute engages every segment of society to protect humankind’s most basic fundamental right: freedom of religion and belief. The Institute’s programs reflect this multi-faceted approach, in national security, corporate social responsibility, interfaith dialogue and media engagement.
J.M. Dawson Institute of Church State Studies, www.baylor.edu/church_state/splash.php. Baylor University established the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies in 1957, so named in honor of an outstanding alumnus, an ardent advocate of religious liberty, and a distinguished author of publications on church and state. The Institute is the oldest and most well established facility of its kind located in a university setting. It is exclusively devoted to research in the broad field of church and state and the advancement of religious liberty around the world.
Interfaith Alliance, www.interfaithalliance.org, The Interfaith Alliance is a non-partisan, clergy-led grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive, healing role of faith in civic life and challenging intolerance and extremism.
Liberty Counsel, www.lc.org, is a nonprofit civil liberties education and legal defense organization dedicated to preserve religious freedom. Liberty Counsel has over 400 affiliate attorneys throughout the United States with experience in practically every area of law, ranging from antitrust to zoning.
National Religious Campaign Against Torture. www.nrcat.org. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Since its formation in January 2006, over 250 religious groups have joined NRCAT, including representatives from the Roman Catholic, evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Orthodox Christians, Unitarian, Quaker, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh communities. Members include national denominations and faith groups, regional organizations and congregations.
The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life, www.pewforum.org, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life seeks to promote a deeper understanding of how religion shapes the ideas and institutions of American society. [This web site is an excellent source of current news articles on religious freedom issues; the Pew Forum also hosts numerous public events discussing the major religious freedom issues of the day, and frequently posts articles/papers from those events.]
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics. Since its debut in 1997, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly has set itself apart from the mainstream media by providing distinctive, cutting-edge news coverage and analysis of national and international events in the ever-changing religious world.
Religious Freedom Day. www.religiousfreedomday.com. Each year, the President declares January 16th to be Religious Freedom Day, and calls upon Americans to "observe this day through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools, and places of worship." The day is the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. The goal of ReligiousFreedomDay.com is to promote and protect students' religious expression rights by informing educators, parents, and students about these liberties.
Traditional Values Coalition. www.traditionalvalues.org. Traditional Values Coalition is the largest non-denominational, grassroots church lobby in America. Founded in 1980, by Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman, TVC has sought to empower people of faith through knowledge. TVC speaks on behalf of over 43,000 churches bridging racial and socio-economic barriers and includes most Christian denominations.