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Challenging Religious Freedom In The Modern Age

Historically, most court cases alleging abridgment of the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion have come from minority faiths whose practices have seemed alien to the dominant American culture. In response, state and federal courts have had to interpret the meaning of “free exercise” to determine where compelling state interests can curtail religious expression. In a working paper housed as a downloadable PDF on the website of the Association of Religion Data Archives, a source for the highest-quality information and data on American and international religion, Robert R. Martin and Roger Finke of Pennsylvania State University review milestone Supreme Court decisions affecting religious freedom from the last century, then focus on decisions between 1981 and 2011 to determine how the adoption and rejection of legislated tests that try to quantify state interests have affected the outcome of minority religion legal challenges.




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