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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the “Place to Worship Initiative,” which will focus on protecting the ability of houses of worship and other religious institutions to build, expand, buy, or rent facilities-as provided by the land use provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
RLUIPA is a federal law that protects religious institutions from unduly burdensome or discriminatory land use regulations. Specifically, RLUIPA bars land use regulations that impose a substantial burden on religious exercise without a compelling justification, requires governments to treat houses of worship as favorably as nonreligious assemblies, and bars governments from discriminating among religions and from totally or unreasonably excluding houses of worship.
Attorney - General - Sessions - Place - Worship
Attorney General Sessions announced the Place to Worship Initiative today with a goal “to increase enforcement and public awareness of the land use provisions of RLUIPA.” In addition, the Place to Worship Initiative specifies “these provisions protect places of worship and other religious uses of property (including religious schools and religious social service providers) in the zoning and landmarking process from actions by local governments that: 1)Place unjustifiable burdens on religious exercise; 2)Treat religious assemblies and institutions worse than nonreligious assemblies and institutions; 3) Discriminate against religious assemblies or institutions based...
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