Roger Williams and Religious Freedom
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom to U.S. citizens. In 1790, this became the law of the land, but more than 150 years before, one colony was established with this one radical concept at its core. That colony was Rhode Island. The place was Providence. The man was Roger Williams. Here would be a shelter for those persecuted for their conscience’s sake. Here they would make laws only in civil things. It would be a “lively experiment.”

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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