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Since the 2016 presidential election, hate crimes against religious minorities are on the rise. In the 34 days following the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported over 1,000 incidences of hate crimes, the majority of which directed at Muslims. Since the beginning of 2017, Jewish cemeteries were vandalized in Missouri and Pennsylvania, while bomb threats directed at Jewish community centers and schools have increased dramatically. A CBS Interfaith Special, FAITH IN AMERICA: A HISTORY looks at what is fueling the increase in hate crimes and how America has struggled throughout history with religious bigotry such as anti-Catholicism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. This special broadcast will air Sunday, April 2 (check local listings) on the CBS Television Network.

Julie Byrne, Ph.D., Hartman Chair of Catholic Studies at Hofstra University and author of The Other Catholics, talks about the nearly forgotten history of anti-Catholicism and how the country finally came to accept this community once considered suspicious and un-American.

Hasia Diner,Ph.D., professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies in the Department of History at New York University, discusses anti-Semitism and the history of Jews in America.

Peter Hayes, Ph.D., is a professor of history and German, and the Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Northwestern University. Hayes examines how the hatred of Jews resulted in one of the greatest human tragedies of our lifetime, the Holocaust.

Peter Gottschalk, Ph.D., Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University and co-author of Islamophobia: Making the Muslims the Enemy, explains the history of Islamophobia in America and how it is perpetuated throughout society in the present day.

John P. Blessington is the senior executive producer and Liz Kineke is the producer. In creating the topics and content for this series, they sought input from religious scholars, clergy and others, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and various interfaith organizations.

Following the April 2 air date, this program may be viewed again at “Like” us on and follow us on Twitter @CBSReligion.

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Press Contact:

Phoebe Gittelson 212-975-4796