Full Statute Name:  United States Code Annotated. Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare. Chapter 21B. Religious Freedom Restoration. § 2000bb-1. Free exercise of religion protected.

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Popular Title:  RFRA Primary Citation:  42 USC 2000bb-1 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  March, 2024 Date Adopted:  1993 Historical: 
Summary: RFRA provides that the government may not substantially burden an individual's free exercise of religion unless it is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and it is done through the least restrictive means.
Held Unconstitutional by
City of Boerne v. Flores, 117 S.Ct. 2157, 2158+, 521 U.S. 507, 507+, 138 L.Ed.2d 624, 624+, 65 USLW 4612, 4612+, 74 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 62, 62+, 70 Empl

§ 2000bb-1. Free exercise of religion protected

Current through P.L. 107-185, approved 5-30-02 (except P.L. 107-171)

(a) In general

Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Exception

Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person--

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

(c) Judicial relief

A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.


(Pub.L. 103-141, § 3, Nov. 16, 1993, 107 Stat. 1488.)


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