On December 9, 1993, George H. W. Bush established the first Proclamation of Religious Freedom Day in America. Beginning with the words, “We Americans have long established our identity as one Nation under God,” President Bush recognized the impact that freedom of religion and the exercise thereof has had in the shaping of the United States of America, “Over the years the exercise of our religious freedom has been instrumental in preserving the faith and the traditional values that are this Nation’s greatest strengths.”
“Over the years the exercise of our religious freedom has been instrumental in preserving the faith and the traditional values that are this Nation’s greatest strengths.”
Bush recognizes the individuals who helped to establish these freedoms, “The religious freedom that James Madison and Thomas Jefferson helped to secure for us has been integral to the preservation and development of the United States.” Jefferson, who first penned the Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments engraved on his tombstone, the others being the Declaration of American Independence and the founding father of the University of Virginia.
“In that spirit, the United States has continued to champion religious liberty and tolerance around the world.”
In this original proclamation, Bush renounced religious oppression around the world and reminded us of the history of dedication America has had in upholding religious liberties throughout the world. “In that spirit, the United States has continued to champion religious liberty and tolerance around the world. We decry as reprehensible the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, and we likewise condemn the resurgence of anti-Semitism and other forms of religious bigotry.“
The original Religious Freedom Day proclamation can be found at http://religiousfreedomday.com/images/RFD_1993.pdf
Religious Freedom Day is officially proclaimed on January 16 each year by an annual statement by the current President of the United States.