Current Issues
Victory for Religious Freedom!
February 6, 2018

“It is time now for the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS,” announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), commented on the critical goal of this important new Division, “Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced. No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice. For too long, governments big and small have treated conscience claims with hostility instead of protection, but change is coming and it begins here and now.”

Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Senator James Lankford and Representative Vicky Hartzler, stood with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, OCR Director Roger Severino and Acting Secretary Eric D. Hargan. Watch the full announcement here. 

In another strong recognition of the increasing attacks on Religious Freedom, Governor Sam Brownback was recently confirmed as the Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom. Governor Brownback has a history of upholding the universality of religious liberty, as does the State Department office he will be overseeing. His confirmation comes at a time where international religious persecution is at an all time high, and national persecution is increasing.

Advocates of religious freedom should be very encouraged about these new developments. We extend our appreciation to Roger Severino for his leadership, and to this Administration for the selection of such superb men. We look forward to bringing you more positive reports in the upcoming days and years.