Interfaith Summit in Chicago to Reclaim Religious Liberty in US

Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski from Ill. and Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, are among the participants from across faiths who will voice their concern over the erosion of religious liberty in the public square in the U.S. at a summit in Chicago on Sunday.

"People of all faiths will be coming together in Chicago to voice our concern over the eroding freedom to speak in the language of faith in the public square, freedom to worship," said Thomas Yep, organizer of the Reclaiming Religious Liberty Summit, to be held at Halas Hall in the Chicago region on Sunday.

"We invite people of all faith backgrounds and those who may claim no religion. The right of individual choice of conscience is common to all individuals and we must protect this right, as established in the Constitution, as innate in each human person by natural law," Yep said in a statement on Friday.

Attendees include Peter Breen of Thomas More Society, Chicago's WLS radio host Dan Proft, Attorney and Muslim magazine editor Asma Uddin, Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz, Relevant Radio host Francis "Rocky" Hoffman and Chicago Bears Senior Director of Special Projects Patrick McCaskey, among others.

While the statement does not disclose the details of the summit's program, the event comes at a time when a Health and Human Services mandate, which requires health insurers, or employers, including faith-based employers, to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs at no cost to employees, is increasingly being criticized for violating religious freedom of faith-based institutions. There are over 30 separate lawsuits challenging the contraception mandate.

Reclaiming Religious Liberty is a group of U.S. citizens "working together to educate fellow citizens on the protection of our first amendment rights to religious liberty, as granted by the Constitution." They seek to educate fellow citizens on these rights and to encourage them to take steps to reclaim religious liberty for all Americans, the group says on its website.

The group says it affirms the Declaration of Independence's statements "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" and that to secure these rights "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."