RLUIPA

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

Over a period of several years, beginning in 1995, the Judiciary Committee of both the United States Senate and House of Representatives held public hearings related to the protection of religious liberty. At these hearings, testimony was presented identifying increased incidence of local municipalities utilizing land use codes in ways that discriminated against small religious denominations and churches.

As explained by Senators Orin Hatch and Ted Kennedy at the time of the passage of the law – the constitutional principles guaranteeing the right to “peaceably assemble”, and “the free exercise of religion” have little meaning if local authorities capriciously deny churches or religious communities the right to build temples or structures within which to congregate.

“The right to assemble for worship is at the very core of the free exercise of religion. Churches and synagogues cannot function without a physical space adequate to their needs and consistent with their theological requirements. The right to build, buy, or rent such a space is an indispensable adjunct of the core First Amendment right to assemble for religious purposes.”

For more information on RLIUPA read it’s wikipedia page.