National Religious Freedom Day

National Religious Freedom Day is a holiday that commemorates the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. This was considered a landmark statute that would become the foundation for the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Since the early 1990s, this holiday has been upheld by Presidential Proclamation every single year—celebrated on the 16th of January.

The History of National Religious Freedom Day

In 1777, Thomas Jefferson penned the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and by 1786, it had been enacted into law. This statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed citizens the right to choose the religion of their choice. Religious Freedom Day was first proclaimed as a celebration of Jefferson’s achievement in 1993 and has been officially proclaimed by the President of the U.S. ever since.

Facts About the First Amendment

Are you ready for a dose of facts about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? If you are, then you have come to the right holiday article. That’s because we’re going to share some interesting facts that we learned while we were examining the nuts and bolts of National Religious Freedom Day.

  • The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making any laws establishing a national religion.
  • It also prevents Congress from making any laws that infringe on the free individual exercise of religion.
  • The First Amendment also gives citizens freedoms of the press and speech, as well as the right to peaceably assemble.
  • Another thing provided to U.S. citizens by the First Amendment is the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

Observing National Religious Freedom Day

This holiday can be observed in several different ways. First, you can observe this holiday by practicing your own faith and attending the service of your choice. You can also take the time to learn about other faiths. Another way to observe this holiday is by taking the time to read the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The last way to observe this holiday is to use the hashtag #NationalReligiousFreedomDay to spread the word about it far and wide.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 16 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
January 16 Thursday
Last year (2023)
January 16 Monday
Culture & History