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A file photo shows a “Defend Religious Freedom” banner above the front door of St John’s Church in Onawa, Iowa. (OSV News/Jerry L Mennenga)

After a year of renewed attacks on churches and religious centres, the United States bishops said in a new report that attacks on houses of worship constitute the “largest threat to religious liberty in 2024” and could threaten “the very lives of people of faith”. Source: CNA.

Titled the “State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” the report was released yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty.

The report said that while the committee “was founded in response to increasing legal threats to the free exercise of religion,” the bishops felt “compelled to decry foreseeable threats to the very lives of people of faith here in the United States”.

“There is no greater threat to religious liberty than for one’s house of worship to become a place of danger, and the country sadly finds itself in a place where that danger is real,” the bishops said in the report.

The bishops’ report is based on data gathered by the Committee for Religious Liberty, led by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.

Bishop Rhoades wrote that the report has “sought to raise awareness about our religious liberty concerns” and represents “one more resource to help all Catholics as they seek to live out their faith in this great country.”

“This report outlines the major issues that have occupied the Committee for Religious Liberty over the past year,” he said. “It reveals a wide range of concerns, such as federal agencies misusing laws meant to aid pregnant women in order to promote abortion, threats to the safety of our Jewish and Muslim neighbours, and the FBI’s suspicion of Catholics who worship in the Traditional Latin Mass.”


Religious Americans’ lives possibly at risk in 2024, new report by US bishops says (By Peter Pinedo, CNA)


Catholics play a vital role in defending religious freedom, says Bishop Rhoades in newly released religious liberty report (USCCB)

Religious liberty in the United States: Emerging top 5 concerns (OSV News)