The “Place to Worship Initiative” has been announced today by the United States Department of Justice.
This initiative will focus on protecting the ability of houses of worship and other religious institutions to build, expand, buy, or rent facilities.
Attorney General Sessions provided this statement in announcing the initiative :
The Constitution doesn’t just protect freedom to worship in private—it protects the public exercise of religious belief, including where people worship together,” Attorney General Sessions said. “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.
The Department is also launching a new web page that can be found here: justice.gov/crt/place-worship-initiative.
It includes easy access to an information page, complaint portal, a new Q and A document, and other materials.
In addition, the Department has created a new RLUIPA (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) tool kit for Department lawyers working on RLUIPA cases.
A webinar will be held on June 26 to provide training and resources for U.S. Attorney’s offices.