This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at some of the numerous victories by the ACLJ in 2018.
The ACLJ has long worked to end to religious discrimination by any federal agency. Last year, we sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding a stop to faith-based discrimination. This year, in one of the first victories, of the year, we saw the end of this discrimination.
Religious organizations are often among the first and most dedicated in responding to natural disasters in their communities, helping provide support, food, and shelter to those in need.
Yet, in recent years churches and places of worship were being discriminated against and prohibited from even applying to receive grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the wake of natural disasters.
It’s unconscionable to think assistance would be withheld from qualified organizations and people in dire need because of faith.
Thankfully this year President Trump signed into law a new budget that would provide protections for churches and places of worship.
The new law states, “No house of worship may be excluded from this definition because leadership or membership in the organization operating the house of worship is limited to persons who share a religious faith or practice.”
This means that FEMA cannot discriminate against religious organizations for the purposes of receiving grants. FEMA has since announced the end of these discriminating policies and announced that churches and places of worship would no longer be prohibited from applying for and receiving grants.
This is an enormous victory for religious and faith based organizations. Neither faith beliefs nor a pro-life position should ever be grounds to exclude well-qualified organizations from consideration for public funds and programs.
We will continue to defend religious liberty and to put an end systematic discrimination against churches and religious organizations in this country. We need you in the fight.
To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a Tax-Deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be DOUBLED dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.
You can read more in the ACLJ’s 2018 Victories series here.
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