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Trump Draws Praises From Faith Leaders as He Prepares to Issue Order Protecting Americans' Religious Liberty

Trump Draws Praises From Faith Leaders as He Prepares to Issue Order Protecting Americans' Religious Liberty

It's just a leaked document and nothing is official yet, but it's enough to spark rejoicing among faith leaders of various denominations across America.

U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to sign the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty during the National Day of Prayer event at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C. on May 4, 2017. | (PHOTO: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA)

The leaked document suggests that President Donald Trump is about to issue an order protecting the rights of religious people who didn't want to be forced to provide coverage of abortion-causing contraceptives and devices, CBN News reported.

The order will be sweet music to the ears of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a congregation of Catholic nuns that has been fighting the federal government in court for years to free itself from the clutches of Obamacare. Under the health program of former president Barack Obama, the group was given a choice of either providing contraceptive coverage to its workers—even against it religious beliefs—or face millions of dollars in punitive fines.

The pending regulation would protect the religious liberty of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups facing the same predicament by helping to ensure they are not punished for following their religious beliefs.

Vox obtained a copy of the regulation, dated May 23, which can be viewed on DocumentCloud.

The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing the proposal, the final step before a new regulation is made official.

Leaders of religious and pro-life groups welcomed news of the leaked document.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, "While this apparent leaked document is a draft, it is a very positive sign to see the federal government work to cease its hostility toward Christians and those who object to the Obama-era health care mandates."

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), also welcomed the pending new regulation, saying he is "hopeful that the administration will follow through on their commitment to reverse existing policy that has left many Americans vulnerable to overreach by the federal government."

"The hostile attitude toward tens of millions of law-abiding Americans seen in previous years is tragic, as is the audacity of a state that believes it can annex the human conscience," Moore said in a statement reported by the Baptist Press.

Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor with The Catholic Association, said, "After six years of lawsuits provoked by unnecessary government coercion and threats of crippling fines, respect for the conscience rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious objectors is finally in sight."

"This leaked final rule would be the beginning of a common-sense solution, that balances government interests with respect for the rights of people of faith," she said.

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said the document gives hope to pro-life organizations that refuse to violate their conscience.

"Today's draft of the HHS Interim rule signals hope for the full reinstatement of our right to conscience protection. Having gone to court over this issue ourselves, the March for Life knows firsthand how oppressive the Obama-era mandate is, forcing groups like ours and religious orders like Little Sisters of the Poor to cover conscience-violating drugs," Mancini said.

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