George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom


Our Mission and Values

The Institute is committed to promoting freedom of religious belief and observance, the equality of all law-abiding religions, and separation of church and state in the United States and around the world.

The goal of the Institute is to help students, teachers and public leaders worldwide to go beyond “mere” toleration of our religious differences to sincere respect for each other’s beliefs and observances. Our position reflects George Washington’s aspiration, expressed to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport: each of us must give “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” We must show respect for each other’s religious beliefs, even those most different from our own – so long as those ideas are lawful and contribute to a peaceful society.

The George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom™ (Institute) is a non-profit [501(c)3] organization devoted to promoting open, respectful discussion about religious liberty and the separation of church and state, and exploring the contemporary ramifications of these concepts in the United States and across the globe.