On Wednesday, Catholics in Augusta will rally for religious freedom at a prayer service on the steps of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, across from the Federal Justice Center.
The event coincides with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom campaign, a two-week period of prayer, fasting and public demonstrations from June 21 to July 4, said the Rev. Jerry Ragan, of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church.
The campaign opposes what U.S. bishops say are attacks on religious liberty, including President Obama’s heath care mandate requiring most employers to provide health insurance that includes birth control and abortion-inducing drugs and state immigration laws that prohibit the harboring of undocumented immigrants, among other issues.
Though it gets the most coverage, the campaign isn’t just about the health care mandate, Ragan said.
“It’s not only about government overreach, and I hope it’s not about partisan politics,” he said. “The Christian voice is being squashed these days in public life. We want to stand up and say … the Gospel of Jesus Christ still has value.”
The Catholic Deanery of Augusta, which consists of St. Mary on the Hill, Holy Trinity, St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, is holding the event.
The rally will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday outside on the steps of Holy Trinity “because we want to be in the public square,” Ragan said. “We ask people, not only of faith, but those who love the common good and have respect for all people, to join with us.”