1883 - Congress passes Religious Crimes Code

The Religious Crimes Code passed by Congress formally denied Indians First Amendment protections for 'freedom of religion.' The effect of this law was to drive Indian religious ceremonies such as the Ghost dance and the Sun dance, 'underground' - far from the prying eyes of white Indian agents. This odious piece of legislation was not repealed until the 1970s.

          Congress passed this law - depriving Native Americans of First Amendment rights - to forbid them from practicing any religion but those approved by the white man.   Enforcement of this law would eventually lead to the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee in 1890.

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