In hard economic times, American workers may be willing to forego pay raises and pensions to keep their jobs. Just don’t ask them to abandon their faith.

Consider the case of Abdulkadir Omar, a former security guard in Kent, Wash., who was told to shave his religiously required beard after six months on the job. Omar refused, was fired — and now is in federal court seeking damages.

Like many other religious Americans, Omar was forced to make what the Supreme Court has called a “cruel choice” between keeping his job and following his God.

In post-9/11 America, workplace conflicts involving Muslim Americans like Omar, often focused on grooming and head scarves, tend to grab the headlines. But under the news-media radar, workers of many other faiths — Protestants, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Sikhs and others — battle daily to practice their faiths without losing their jobs.

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