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Religious Liberty in the States 2022
A Domestic Measure of Statutory Safeguards for the Free Exercise of Religion

Our Downloads page provides free access to the full RLS 2022 report, our complete dataset, and 50 user-friendly state scorecards.

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What is Religious Liberty in the States?

Religious Liberty in the States (RLS) is a statistical index and data catalog reflecting the free-exercise protections that each of the 50 states codifies in its laws. The data catalog composed for the inaugural year of this project includes detailed information on 11 safeguards. Once aggregated, these 11 distinct areas produce one RLS index score per state, suitable for ranking states and, in time, tracking changes.

Why does it matter?

Because religious liberty matters and is the right of every person. While the First Amendment establishes a right to the free exercise of religion at the national level, RLS captures and communicates how many safeguards each state has in place for religious exercise. We can then compare how states are doing relative to one another and how each one measures up to the potential safeguards it could provide. Every state has room for improvement, and we’re helping identify where states can improve.

In The News

GarryP

Townhall: Understanding the Role States Have in Protecting Liberty

Editor’s Note: The following op-ed was published in Townhall on September 25, 2022, and is authored by Patrick M. Garry,…

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us supreme court building 2225766 1280

How Will the RLS Rankings Change After Dobbs?

The inaugural Religious Liberty in the States (RLS) index ranks the fifty states for how well they protect religious liberty…

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Sarah Estelle

RealClear Religion: Religious Liberty Beyond Red and Blue Divides

Editor’s Note: The following op-ed was published in RealClearReligion on September 16, 2022, and is authored by Sarah Estelle, director…

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Thomas Paine

Spiritual freedom is the root of political liberty...as the union between spiritual freedom and political liberty seems nearly inseparable, it is our duty to defend both."

Thomas Paine,

political activist and philosopher