Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ariz. town: No church meetings at home. Period.

Last supperImage via Wikipedia

Be sure to see the letter here.
Christian church groups shouldn’t be singled out for discrimination and banned from meeting in their own homes,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Daniel Blomberg. “The interpretation and enforcement of the town’s code is clearly unconstitutional. It bans 200,000 Gilbert residents from meeting in their private homes for organized religious purposes—an activity encouraged in the Bible, practiced for thousands of years, and protected by the First Amendment.”
clipped from
ADF attorneys appeal town of Gilbert’s use of zoning code to shut down small house church
GILBERT, Ariz. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed an appeal Wednesday with the town of Gilbert’s zoning Board of Adjustment to overturn a decision banning churches from meeting, holding Bible studies, or having any other activities in private homes. The pastor of the seven-member Oasis of Truth Church received a cease-and-desist letter ordering him to terminate all religious meetings in his home, regardless of their size, nature, or frequency.
Sutherland stopped the home meetings in December and requested a clarification of the restrictions from the town zoning administrator the next month. The initial informal response was followed in February by a zoning interpretation letter--offered at a $305 fee--confirming the alleged basis of the ban. The church currently holds its Sunday meetings at a local school, where it can only meet for one weekly service due to rental costs.
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