Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced its “Place to Worship Initiative” to help protect houses of worship and religious institutions against discrimination in the local land use process. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions announced the new initiative and stated that President Trump “is an unwavering defender of the right of free exercise [of religion], and under his leadership, the Department of Justice is standing up for the rights of all Americans.” The full statement reads:
The Constitution doesn’t just protect freedom to worship in private – it protects the public exercise of religious belief, including where people worship together. Under the laws of this country, government cannot discriminate against people based on their religion – not in law enforcement, not in grant-making, not in hiring, and not in local zoning laws. President Trump is an unwavering defender of the right of free exercise, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice is standing up for the rights of all Americans. By raising awareness about our legal rights, the Place to Worship Initiative will help us bring more civil rights cases, win more cases, and prevent discrimination from happening in the first place.