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WHEREAS, the protection of religious freedom is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution of Virginia states, “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, the founders of our country were great men and women from many religious denominations, and cultures, who came together to establish a country “with liberty and justice for all;” and
WHEREAS, today, our Commonwealth continues to celebrate the many different faiths and cultures that make up the rich and colorful fabric of our state and nation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 4-10, 2018, as CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.