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Use your phone to get religious freedom updates

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops today launched a text-messaging campaign allowing individuals to join a nationwide effort to protect religious freedom.

Supporters can simply text the word Freedom to 377377 — or in Spanish, the word Libertad — to receive occasional messages on religious liberty issues worldwide.

The U.S. bishops announced the texting effort on the first day of the "Fortnight for Freedom," a two-week period calling attention to the need to preserve our First Amendment rights in the face of such governmental curbs as the federal Health and Human Service mandate setting forth a definition of religious organizations.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, urged supporters to get behind the texting movement.

"Across America, our right to live out our faith is being threatened — from Washington's forcing Catholic institutions to provide services that contradict their beliefs, to state governments' prohibiting religious charities from serving the most vulnerable," Lori said.

The U.S. bishops plan to communicate with supporters by SMS (short message service) about twice a month. Standard text message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP to opt-out.