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Religious Freedom

People have the right to their own religious beliefs, but everyone also has the right to be free from the religious beliefs of others.
“I firmly reject any claim that religious beliefs can be invoked as a legitimate 'justification' for violence or discrimination against women, girls or LGBT+ people. The right to freedom of religion protects individuals and not religions as such.”
Ahmed Shaheed

As Catholics, we respect the separation of church and state and value religious pluralism. The Catholic hierarchy, however, has spent years redefining what religious liberty means—pursuing religious freedom protections for large institutions at the expense of individuals.

Catholics for Choice believes that protections for religious freedom extend to one’s personal religious beliefs and practices. They do not give license to institutions like the Catholic hierarchy to obstruct or coerce the exercise of an individual person’s conscience.

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Questions about Religious Freedom

We've compiled these talking points to help inform Catholic conversations about religious freedom.

What is religious freedom?
Whose conscience matters?
Should people be forced to follow someone else's beliefs?