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Standing up for Religious Freedom

6/21/2012 - 10:13 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

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Bishops begin Fortnight of activities to reaffirm our first, most cherished liberty as Americans see support for liberty in theaters, bookstores and on the frontlines

ATLANTA, GA (June 21, 2012) - Across America today, people from all walks of life begin participating in the Fortnight for Freedom, an event developed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to support a national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty. The event comes as popular culture sees movies, books and projects to support U.S. troops emphasize the importance of standing up for liberty.

At 7 p.m. ET tonight in Baltimore, Most Rev. William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, will celebrate a Mass that serves as the formal opening of the USCCB's Fortnight for Freedom. Archbishop Lori chairs the conference's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, which earlier this year released Our First, Most Cherished Liberty - a statement on religious liberty.

The USCCB announced today a texting campaign that enables anyone to join the Fortnight for Freedom and receive information on how they can help protect and defend religious liberty throughout the world.

Anyone interested in joining the campaign can text "Freedom" or "Libertad" to 377377. In response, they will receive information regularly on how to help protect religious freedom worldwide.

"Across America, our right to live out our faith is being threatened -- from Washington's forcing Catholic institutions to provide services that contradict their beliefs, to state governments' prohibiting religious charities from serving the most vulnerable," Archbishop Lori said in announcing the texting campaign. "We encourage all supporters around the country to text the simple, meaningful word 'Freedom' (for English) or 'Libertad' (for Spanish) to 377377 to join the movement."

"Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home," the bishops note in Our First, Most Cherished Liberty. "It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day, both here at home and overseas."

The concepts of religious liberty, the freedom to contribute to society without compromising conscience and making choices at the ballot box to reaffirm rights guaranteed by the First Amendment are finding their way into mainstream culture - not just through events like the Fortnight for Freedom, but through the film FOR GREATER GLORY and its official companion book; the book INDIVISIBLE; and the FRONTLINE FAITH project.

FOR GREATER GLORY, an epic action film that tells the true story of Mexico's Cristero War for religious freedom, continues to draw audiences across the country. The film chronicles an impassioned group of men and women who each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as the adventure unfolds against the long-hidden, true story of the daring people's revolt that rocked 20th Century North America.

"Every person of faith should draw courage from the tragically heroic witness of the Cristeros," said Fr. Andrew Small, national director of the Pontifical Missions Society. "Their sacrifice reminds us that unless we learn from history, we risk repeating it."

"This film has impact," said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro Life Action League. "It brings to life the real events and true story of the Cristero War, and the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price to preserve their most basic and precious rights and freedoms. Those rights and freedoms continue to face assault today around the world - including here in America."

Anyone interested in seeing FOR GREATER GLORY can find a list of theaters and links to online ticketing at the film's official website -

FOR GREATER GLORY: THE TRUE STORY OF CRISTIADA is the official companion book to the film of the same name. The 150-page volume, loaded with rare and revealing historical and film photos, is written by Ruben Quezada, a recognized expert on the Cristero War and the Cristiada. English and Spanish editions of the book are available from Ignatius Press.

Quezada is Director for the Catholic Resource Center and St. Joseph ...

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