United States Action Team

The first sixteen words of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution express the American commitment to religious freedom. Today, the understanding of what religious freedom is and why it matters has largely been lost. We are working to promote a robust understanding of religious freedom and the many positive ways that religion makes tangible and verifiable contributions to American public life and the common good.  

Director: Byron Johnson

Projects: The American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience


The American Charter project is committed to rebuilding America's historical commitment to freedom of religion and conscience and generating a coalition of support for this fundamental human right. 

The American Charter project is a joint-initiative of the Religious Freedom Institute and Baylor University's Institute for the Study of Religion. 

To learn more about the American Charter project visit: www.AmericanCharter.org


Director: Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson is among the world’s leading authorities on the scientific study of religion, including the salutary effects of religion and religious freedom on social behavior. His research makes the case that religious freedom encourages faith-motivated individuals and groups to develop innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to some of society’s most pressing social problems. Byron’s book More God, Less Crime(Templeton Press) has led skeptics to rethink the social value of religion and religious freedom. His publications document the effectiveness of faith-based interventions to foster offender rehabilitation and provide strategies for criminal justice reform. After teaching at Vanderbilt and the University of Pennsylvania, in 2004 Byron was named Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University, and the founding Director of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. Byron’s Ph.D. is from Florida State University.