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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Christian Heritage Week

WHEREAS, the protection of religious freedom in the United States was inspired by the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and was guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States. The Commonwealth wishes to recognize the tremendous religious diversity in Virginia and respect the rights of all Virginians to enjoy their freedom of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, since 1776, the Constitution of Virginia has ordained, "That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience;" and

WHEREAS, on April 26, 1607, settlers from England landed on the shores of Virginia and within days erected a cross at Cape Henry to recognize the strength that their faith had provided them in their journey and would sustain them in their new endeavor; and

WHEREAS, on December 4, 1619, settlers held a prayer service at Berkeley to “be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God” and marking the first Thanksgiving in the new world; and

WHEREAS, George Washington, in his first Inaugural Address, noted that, "the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected to remain on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained"; and

WHEREAS, the founders of our country were great men and women from many religious denominations, races, and cultures, who came here from all over the world to establish a country “with liberty and justice for all,” and the Christian faith is an integral part of this rich heritage in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, George Mason wrote in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, forerunner to our United States Bill of Rights, "that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other;”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize March 26-April 1, 2023, as CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.