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17 Apr

Palm Sunday Attacks on Coptic Christians

“convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death …”    Pope Francis

Palm Sunday Attacks on Coptic Christians:

Pope Francis condemned Islamic State terror attacks on Coptic churches during Palm Sunday services.  These bombings in Cairo, Egypt, are the latest escalation by ISIS to step up its attacks against Egypt’s Christian minority which makes up 10% of the population.   (, 4/9/17;, 4/9/17)

Are Christians in America Under Attack?

Compared to the rest of the world, the answer is “No.”  Americans don’t experience the same kind of persecution as Christians in Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and Syria.

What is happening in America is an increasing hostility and intolerance toward Christian beliefs and values.  Hostility toward religion in America has expanded dramatically in recent years, with florists targeted, bakers punished, nuns coerced and retail companies facing discrimination for their faith.

“This flood is engulfing ordinary citizens who simply try to live normal lives according to their faith and conscience…It has the potential to wash away the ground that supports our other rights, including freedom of speech…,” said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for First Liberty.   (,6/29/16;

“God made us free, but this kind of (polite) persecution takes away freedom.”  Pope Francis


  • Sunday, April 23, 2017, 7-9PM
    Congressman Lee Zeldin
    St. Patrick’s R.C.Church
    280 E Main St., Smithtown,
    Topic: conscience rights & religious liberty and our Congress
  • Sunday, May 7, 2017
    11:00 mass, 12:00 Brunch & Presentation
    Catholic Teachers in Public Schools Communion Breakfast
    Seminary of the Immaculate Conception
    440 West Neck Road, Huntington, 11743
    For a reservation, call DRVC, Office of Faith Formation at 516-678-5800



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Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witnesses to Freedom

Fortnight 2016 Diocese poster flyer

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Free to Speak:
Our public schools are not “God-Free Zones”

America’s children need not leave their faith at the school house door.

For students to be silenced or disciplined by an authority figure, for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…

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Religious Freedom Resources

Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.

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At World Meeting of Families: Defending Freedom of Religion

WorldMeetingofFamiliesBarbara Samuells, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion and a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Dix Hills, shares her experience at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

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Religious Freedom: Our First Amendment Right

Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witness to Freedom Rally held at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School

In Service to the Church

Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.

Pope blesses boy as he leaves audience in St. Peter's Square at VaticanPope Francis has observed that “religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.” Evangelii Gaudium. . . , no. 183. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion
Mission Statement


America’s First Amendment guarantees its citizens five freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.

So that this First Amendment freedom may be practiced and preserved for generations yet unborn it is essential that Americans understand this freedom and the circumstances from which it came. A fitting place for the development of this understanding and protection of Religious Freedom is inside all faith communities.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion offers resources to parish members who work to support Religious Freedom by initiating parish laity groups with these suggested goals:

  • To educate and inspire for Freedom of Religion
  • To remain non-partisan, advocating for no candidate or party
  • To invite and include other faith communities
  • To become a permanent group within each parish to educate every generation of Catholics about our Freedom of Religion…how rare it is, how dearly it was purchased for us and how certainly it is being lost.
  • To recognize and oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion from any source

“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” James Madison

“While Americans presume that the Constitution guarantees their rights, in practice our rights survive or disappear based on how firmly we defend them.” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Phone 631-896-8331

National Religious Freedom Day

Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.