Group of people sitting in pews at a religious institution. Text reads " Banned Books, Banned Beliefs"

A resource developed by Interfaith Alliance and Unite Against Book Bans 

You may have heard about the dramatic increase over the past few years in efforts to ban books in our nation’s schools and libraries. Many of these targeted books are authored by or focus on historically marginalized groups, particularly LGBTQIA+ and Black communities. But did you know that books are also being challenged and banned because they are by authors or feature characters from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and other minority faith traditions?  

Censorship is an attack on our First Amendment rights, including the freedom of religion, and threatens people of diverse faiths and beliefs across the country. To stand up to censorship and protect our fundamental rights, people of faith must come together to fight back. 

When religion becomes a weapon 

Unfortunately, some of those who want to ban books use religion as a cover for their attempts to shut down the freedom to read. If successful, book banning is a political strategy that could silence diverse religious voices and traditions that are a major part of the rich social fabric of America.  

Censorship groups are well organized. They know how to target local school boards, state legislatures, and the federal government, and their efforts have resulted in the removal of thousands of titles from public libraries and classrooms across the country. But they do not represent the majority of Americans from our diverse religious communities. It is time for faith voices to speak up and push back.  

How religion can be the solution 

People of faith have historically been at the forefront of movements for justice, equality, and democracy. The battle over censorship is another moment when we are called to action. As with any major challenge, it can be difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, there are straightforward actions all of us from faith communities can take today to ensure the freedom to read and freedom of belief.  

Mobilize your congregation. Congregations are people, and people are power. Whatever religious or spiritual community you are a part of, it can be a place for organizing against book bans. Some congregations are hosting banned book reading series, and others are actually buying banned books to put in their libraries to show solidarity. Be creative and share your message through your social media, message boards, and newsletters.  Let the wider community know that your religious community opposes censorship and book bans. Share information about the fight to preserve the freedom to read and download these social media images.

Be a voice for broader acceptance. Religious leaders can play an important role in framing moral issues by offering sermons and study groups on censorship to help members of their faith tradition understand why book bans are bad for religion and bad for our communities. Faith leaders can reach out to established local interfaith organizations and speak to them about why censorship is an important issue and then speak up and show up against censorship. Our talking points and FAQs can help.

Paint the bigger picture. Help others understand the connection between banned books and banned beliefs. Whatever your personal background or identity, you can help others understand that religious freedoms are also under attack and that the underlying threat to diverse viewpoints and the freedom of belief remains the same.

Monitor school and library board happenings and get involved. Follow your local school and library board agendas to see if book bans are being considered. Show up to public meetings, and let people know that you are representing your religious or interfaith community. Bring others with you. Remember that many of the librarians who have been targeted are feeling alone and vulnerable — offer a kind word to them and let them know you appreciate them!  See our guide for attending board meetings.

Engage in local elections and vote. Book bans and the ability to choose what to read are heavily influenced by school board, city, county, and state elections. These elections have lower voter turnout than federal elections, yet the results have a significant impact on your school district and library. Ask candidates for any office or position to take our Candidate Pledge to Oppose Book Bans

If you'd like to print this resource and share with your faith community, or if you represent a library and would like copies for community outreach efforts, please download a PDF version.

Join us to stay engaged 

Interfaith Alliance is a key partner to Unite Against Book Bans, a non-partisan, national coalition launched by the American Library Association in 2022 to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. All across America, people of all beliefs and faiths are saying no to censorship and yes to the freedom to read. Our supporters are our strength as this struggle continues. Sign up to be an ongoing partner in our work at And learn more about Interfaith Alliance’s work against censorship at

Interfaith Alliance: Achieving Democracy Together