March 1st, 2024

Audrey Carroll, West End Strategy Team, 202-826-4160


Interfaith Alliance Applauds White House Directive Preventing Religious Discrimination in Social Service Programs

WASHINGTON – Interfaith Alliance expressed strong support for finalized rules announced today by the Biden administration that restore vital religious freedom protections for people seeking social services from taxpayer-funded programs. The rules replace Trump administration policies that rolled back religious freedom protections for those seeking services that were intended to open the door to faith-based discrimination.

The White House’s directive clarifies that people cannot be denied access to federally funded social services, like food banks, homeless or domestic violence shelters, or eldercare, on the basis of religion or belief, and that participants cannot be forced to participate in any religious activities in exchange for the help they need. 

In response to the Biden administration’s announcement, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

“This is an important course correction from the Trump administration’s attack on every person’s right to believe as they choose without coercion. The federal government has an obligation to ensure all people can equitably access life-saving social services without sacrificing their religious freedom rights and without fear of discrimination. 

“The Biden administration has taken a strong stand for ensuring healthy boundaries between religion and government and against the Christian nationalists working to impose their extreme views through the force of the law. Weaponizing faith to justify discrimination is never okay, and these rules are a critical step forward toward safeguarding against that.”

Interfaith Alliance – as part of its affiliation with the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination – last year joined a letter to the relevant federal agencies backing the rules announced today. 

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit