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Friday, May 17, 2024 - 08:42 PM


First Published in 1994


RICHMOND, Va. -- In response to the increasing attacks on the religious freedom of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Our Faith Under Fire launched today as a defender of that freedom.

"Our Faith Under Fire is the only community benefit organization committed to not only defending the religious freedom of our military service members and their families but also to addressing the issue at its source by supporting members of Congress who defend that freedom and opposing those who would deny our military this constitutionally protected fundamental right," said the Rt. Rev. Col. Derek Jones (USAF- Ret.), chairman of Our Faith Under Fire.

A former Air Force "Top Gun" fighter pilot and bishop of the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy for the Anglican Church of North America, Jones noted that, from the founding of the nation, religious observance has been recognized as key to a strong and vibrant military. One of President George Washington's first orders was to create the Chaplain Corps to minister to the members of the military. He also encouraged American soldiers to attend religious services.

In a reversal of that historic tradition, members of the Armed Forces today are facing an alarming assault on their religious freedom. Public expressions of faith by military service members, including chaplains, have been met with increasing criticism, letters of reprimand, and threats of removal from military service.

"Defending religious freedom has become a national security priority," Jones said. With nearly 70% of service members being people of faith, the military may face a severe recruiting or re-enlistment shortage in the future if its attacks on religious freedom continue.

As part of its launch, Our Faith Under Fire has issued "The Washington Declaration," a public affirmation supporting religious freedom for all U.S. military service members. "Religious freedom is a non-partisan issue," Jones said. "I encourage all Americans to join us in signing the Washington Declaration and helping to send a message to members of Congress that We the People are committed to defending the religious freedom of those who defend us every day."

You can learn more and sign The Washington Declaration at: https://www.ourfaithunderfire.org/washington-declaration.


About Our Faith Under Fire
Our Faith Under Fire is a 501(c)4 community benefit organization. The Rt. Rev. Col. Jones also serves as the Chair Emeritus of The National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) and is the Executive Director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.