UPDATED 8:03 AM PT — Thurs. June 14, 2018
President Trump is addressing the concerns of his religious constituents by directing the Department of Justice to protect their rights.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the newly coined ‘Place to Worship’ initiative, which keeps religious institutions from being discriminated against by zoning laws.
The policy brings awareness to non-secular organizations rights, and starts by suing a New Jersey town which denied building permits to a Jewish synagogue.
Session emphasized his agency’s emphasis on preventing religious hate crimes at the close of the conference.
“Make no mistake, hate crimes are violent crimes, and reducing violent crimes is a top priority of ours,” he stated. “According to the FBI, religious hate crimes are second only to racial hate crimes in the United States today.”
The Department of Justice updated their U.S. attorney’s manual in order to comply with federal guidance on litigating issues of religious liberty laws.
The attorney general’s announcement follows President Trump’s earlier promise to prioritize religious freedom laws.
The agency will be holding a community outreach event later this month to provide what they call additional training and resources for federal prosecutors regarding the matter.