Author ORCID Identifier

Polly Price 0000-0002-4989-7133

Document Type


Publication Date



Regulation of religious activities, Religious minorities, Fighting words, Expressive activity, Public forum, Tort law, Cult


This article will consider various aspects of the U.S. legal system that affect proselytism. Although the United States has had a longstanding constitutional guarantee of the “free exercise” of religion, there are nonetheless significant constraints upon free exercise directly relating to proselytism. Some legal commentators, including Douglas Laycock, have argued that our decentralized system of government leads to insufficient protection of religious liberty, especially for religious minorities.Most case law on the subject in the United States, as well as most attempts to regulate behavior by ordinance or statute, have developed in response to groups or individuals that are outside the mainstream. As the number of adherents to religions other than Judaism or Christianity increases within the United States and as the number of activist, evangelical sects of established religions, grows, we are likely to see more instances of clashes between religious activism and the secular legal system.

First Page


Publication Title

Brigham Young University Law Review