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Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom

AE Curator Jul 16
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One of the most important—but often misunderstood—rights Americans possess is religious liberty. This freedom to worship as one chooses can be traced back to the Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the General Assembly in 1786, the statute affirmed the rights of Virginians to choose their faiths without coercion, separated church and state, and acknowledged that religious liberty was a natural right. The statute became the basis for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Location: Richmond
Image: Library of Virginia

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