Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced the Department of Justice’s creation of a “religious liberty task force,” which aims to help the department fully implement religious guidance, CNN writes. He noted that the goal of the task force will be protecting religious groups from persecution.
“The task force will help the department fully implement our religious liberty guidance by ensuring that all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt and how we conduct our operations. That includes making sure that our employees know their duties to accommodate people of faith,” Sessions said.
According to the Attorney General, there is a “dangerous movement” that wants to strip the “First Amendment right to freedom of religion.” The cultural climate in this country, and in the West more generally, has become less hospitable to people of faith in recent years, and as a result many Americans have felt their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack, The Hill writes.
“A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. There can be no doubt. This is no little matter. It must be confronted and defeated,” Sessions said in his speech.
Sessions issued a religious liberty memorandum following President Donald Trump’s executive order in May 2017, which outlined how federal administrative agencies and executive departments should interpret federal law to protect religious groups.
In a memo released Monday morning, Sessions highlighted how the task force would implement the memorandum released last year, CNN adds.
He also stressed that the federal government under the Trump administration is not just reacting but is actively seeking to accommodate people of faith. “Religious Americans are no longer an afterthought,” Session said.