Understand America As You Never Have Before

Telling the Story of What Religion Has Done To America and What America Has Done To Religion

Interested in a DC American Religious History Tour?

Understand America as you never have before

Join us in sharing the story of religion and history.
With your help we can build a museum by 2026!

Scholars explain the necessity of building the National Museum of American Religion in the nation’s capital by 2026 so that we all understand better what religion has done to America and what America has done to religion, and thus preserve the ideal of religious freedom as a governing principle in the United States, and allow America to fulfill her purposes in the world.

How Religion Has Shaped America

Since the founding of our country, the pursuit of religious freedom has profoundly affected the American story and given birth to a nation of vibrant religious communities. Through a contemporary lens NMAR examines both the American religious landscape over time and the underlying state of religious freedom, along with its historical expansions and contractions.

What does religious freedom mean today, especially in our religiously diverse and hyper-connected world?

NMAR is a space for visitors to find common ground for discussions about the role of religion in America and in the lives of our people and institutions. The ideal of religious freedom remains relevant today, and the contemporary challenges we face are influenced by our historic understanding of this vision.

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The Future Journey


Discover the role of religion and the underlying ideal of religious freedom in the history of the United States and how both continue to influence the ongoing American story


Appreciate the history of religious freedom and the responsibility we share, regardless of one’s personal faith or feelings toward religion generally, to cherish, protect and buttress it

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Examine religion and religious freedom in America through an honest engagement with their history, purpose, and use


Understand the complexities arising from religious freedom and the resulting capacity for significant religious diversity


Explore a vibrant, inviting, immersive and interactive museum in which to experience the role of religion in America and the freedom that fuels it


Engage with other visitors in varied and meaningful ways, to better understand the role religion plays in people’s lives and the life of the nation


Challenge one’s understanding of the history and impact of religion and religious freedom on America, and America on religion and religious freedom


Yes, in so far as they appear in the American narrative.




No, but the museum may become an important place for such issues to be placed in historical context in symposia.

The various Christian denominations will be featured in so far as they have influenced the American story. Christianity will not be represented as the favored religion in the United States.

No. All are welcome to contribute but their support does not alter curation.

Yes, mostly with their historical offices, archives and organizations.

No. We state that “religion has been one of the greatest forces throughout American history, for good and ill.”

Yes, but modest.