A coalition of religious groups, the Joint Appeal Against Human and Animal Patenting, plans to announce on Thursday the start of a national campaign to ban the patenting of genetically engineered animals and human genes, cells and organs.

According to an announcement prepared for the event, the group describes itself as the "broadest coalition of religious leaders in U.S. history set to oppose commercial patents on life."

At this week's event, the titular leaders of more than 80 religious faiths and denominations will announce their opposition to "the granting of government patents on God's creations," according to the statement. Speakers will discuss plans for a nationwide educational campaign in the nation's churches, synagogues, mosques and temples to raise "critical theological concerns over the patenting of life."

Rifkin organization

The Joint Appeal has been organized by the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church and Jeremy Rifkin's Foundation on Economic Trends.