The nation’s Catholic bishops have called for a week highlighting the need for religious freedom globally. Set for June 22-29, the week has the theme “Strength in Hope.”

During Religious Freedom Week, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Portland are encouraged to pray and act each day for the cause.

The first day of the commemoration is the memorial of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, who gave their lives in defense of the Catholic faith in England during the rule of King Henry VIII. The two men believed they were doing what was best for their country.

On the feast of Corpus Christi, June 23, the nation is asked to pray for Christians in the Middle East, who face pressure, threats and even death for their beliefs.

In recent years, Catholic nominees to the federal judiciary have faced questions about their faith. In one exchange, a nominee was told, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.” Other nominees have endured questions about their membership in the Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the country.

“These religious tests are unjust and unconstitutional,” the bishops write. “At a time when our country is highly polarized, our leaders in the Senate should be working to foster tolerance, not fueling divisions.”

The week will include special prayers for U.S. civic leaders, as well as the besieged Muslim minority in Myanmar and persecuted Christians in Nigeria. Also on the prayer list is a resolution over federal laws that withhold funding from child welfare organizations that act according to traditional Christian beliefs when it comes to serving adoptive parents.

Public religious displays get support during the week, as do prison inmates who want to practice faith freely.

The USCCB has created an animated video about religious freedom, available for free.