Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third president of the United States, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and a staunch advocate of religious freedom. Jefferson drafted the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia in 1777, but it was not passed by the state legislature until 1786. The statute, which Tavaana has translated to Persian, provides compelling arguments for freedom of belief and separation of religion and state. The statute then declares that "no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall...suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities." The Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia has become a benchmark of religious freedom, cited in American state and federal court rulings, including Supreme Court decisions.