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Air Force relaxes guidelines on religious expression

[JURIST] The US Air Force [official website] on Thursday released revised interim guidelines [PDF text; press release] concerning the free exercise of religion in the Air Force which remove several restrictions on the promotion of religious beliefs. The revised guidelines, endorsed by the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces [official website], remove a warning for top officers about promoting personal religious views and also eliminate a call for chaplains to "respect the rights of other to their own religious beliefs."

The first version of the religious guidelines [PDF text; press release] was issued in August in response to a lawsuit [JURIST report] brought by a US Air Force Academy [official website] graduate alleging that senior academy officials illegally forced Christianity upon him. The guidelines were revised in response to feedback from the public, Congress and advocacy groups, including conservative Christians who had argued that the initial guidelines were too strict. AP has more.

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