Twin Cities area religious leaders plan to rally Friday in protest of the Obama administration’s mandate requiring employers provide birth control and other reproductive services through health plans.

The “Stand Up For Religious Freedom” rally — scheduled for noon at the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis — is part of a nationwide effort to highlight Catholic bishops and other religious leaders’ protest against the mandate they argue violates their religious beliefs.

Some 164 cities in 50 states are participating in the protest today, according to the Stand Up For Religious Freedom website.

In March, Stand Up rallies were also held in which some 63,000 people in 145 cities nationwide participated. The Twin Cities rally was held at the federal courthouse in St. Paul.