Americans enjoy a degree of religious freedom unknown in most of the rest of the world, and they take full advantage it: the United States is home to more than 1,500 different religious bodies and 360,000 churches, synagogues and mosques.

The right of each and every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Constitution's framers understood very well that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone. The free exercise clause of the First Amendment guarantees the right to practice one's religion free of government interference.

The establishment clause requires the separation of church and state. Combined, they ensure religious liberty. Yet assaults on the freedom to believe continue, both in Washington and in state legislatures around the country.

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