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Fleischmann Urges DOJ to Protect Religious Freedom after Reported Acts of Vandalism at Catholic Churches Across the United States

August 5, 2020
Press Release

CHATTANOOGA, TN — Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), today, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking the Department of Justice to, “[C]ontinue to protect religious freedom and combat religious discrimination in the United States.”

Rep. Fleischmann’s letter comes after nearly a dozen reported acts of vandalism at Catholic Churches around the United States, including an incident at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In July, Rep. Fleischmann condemned the beheading of a statue of the Virgin Mary at St. Stephen Catholic Church.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Attorney General Barr:

I write to respectfully encourage the Department of Justice to continue to protect religious freedom and combat religious discrimination in the United States.

Since June, there have been nearly a dozen reported attacks on Catholic churches around the nation. These disturbing attacks range from arson to the beheading of a statue of the Virgin Mary.

I find these attacks to be a disturbing trend, happening in multiple areas across the nation, including within my own congressional district.

In times of uncertainty we naturally turn to religion for comfort and peace, something many Americans are seeking as we combat COVID-19, but these attacks add another level of distress for many across our nation.

As you said in a speech at the University of Notre Dame last year, “We must be vigilant to resist efforts by the forces of secularization to drive religious viewpoints from the public square and to impinge upon the free exercise of our faith.”

I commend the Department of Justice’s commitment, under your leadership, to combating religious discrimination and I look forward to our continued work together to uphold and protect religious freedom in the United States.

 

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