Religious freedom. Separation of church and state. These are the bedrock of American society and ideals democratic countries around the world aspire to. Rhode Island’s “lively experiment” in religious tolerance began in the 1630’s; the colony was the first political entity to establish full religious freedom and separation of church and state in the early modern world. Rhode Island’s lively experiment was pivotal in the development of the modern secular state.
The Newport World Heritage Commission seeks to achieve the inscription of Colonial Newport and Providence as a World Heritage Site in order to:
- Tell Rhode Island’s important story of religious freedom, tolerance and inclusion
- Support tourism in Rhode Island, particularly from international locations
- Encourage the preservation and celebration of significant Rhode Island sites and structures