Religious Freedom Restoration Act


In General. – Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b). (b) Exception. – Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person – (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. READ MORE >>



The Religious Freedom Reformation Act (RFRA), passed in 1993 by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by President Clinton, enforces the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom from government interference.

The law provides for tests to determine whether or not to allow a government action that substantially burdens someone’s religious freedom:

  1. The government must have a compelling interest at stake.
  2. Even with a compelling interest, the government must pursue the least restrictive way to accomplish its goal. 

RFRA has played a key role in a number of religious freedom cases, including Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the U.S. Supreme Court applied the law to protect a family business from being forced to participate in an Obamacare contraceptives mandate that violated their conscience rights. 


More Resources


Additional Resources