CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Wednesday he will work to protect the “free exercise of religion” following a U.S. Department of Justice announcement regarding an initiative to protect individuals as well as houses of worship.

The Justice Department said its “Place to Worship Initiative” will involve working with U.S. attorneys to educate municipal officials and religious organizations about the requirements of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

The law prohibits people, religious organizations and other groups from unequal treatment, substantial burdens and limitations of religious assemblies.

“This U.S. Attorney will protect the rights of all citizens in the public exercise of religious beliefs including worship or prayers at public events,” Stuart said. “I am prepared to protect the free exercise of religion including a tradition pre-game prayer. This is a fundamental right of every American.”

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