Watchwoman on the Wall

Watchwoman on the Wall


CHRISTIAN PASTORS ARRESTED AS THEY PROTEST NYC BAN ON CHURCHES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

posted by Donna Calvin

by 

Churches will no longer be able to use public schools to hold worship services in New York City. The decision, which goes into effect on Feb. 12, has led to outcry and protests among congregants and their supporters. On Thursday, 43 individuals, comprised of both pastors and champions for religious liberty, were arrested while taking a stand against the ban outside of a public school in the Bronx.

Thursday’s pastor-led protest (Image Credit: DNAinfo/Serena Solomon)

About 200 people had congregated outside of Morris High School, the location where Mayor Michael Bloomberg was delivering his “State of the City” address. The protesters sang, cheered, gave speeches and prayed that the decision to keep them out of the public school system would be reversed. When they didn‘t leave following police officers’ requests, a portion of the group was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

These arrests come following another protest last week — this time over allegations that the city’s Housing Authority was also attempting to remove churches from public space. During the incident, New York City councilman Fernando Cabrera (also a pastor) and supporters were among seven arrested and charged with criminal trespassing; the group was singing hymns outside of the New York City law department.

Photo Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer

The Associated Baptist Press has more about this earlier protest:

The protest was prompted by reports that New York City Housing Authority officials notified several religious groups, mostly churches, over the Christmas holidays they could no longer rent community rooms and other facilities.

Jane Gordon, senior counsel for the New York City Law Department said the housing authority has been reviewing policies regarding all users of its facilities — not just religious groups — for more than a year and its policies have nothing to do with the education department policies.

Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, who was arrested and whose church has been fighting to keep its space at the Bronx River Community Center, claims that there’s a sinister plan in the works.

“New York City Law Department is working on getting rid of churches from community centers. Now they’re targeting us,” he told the Christian post.

But city authorities claim that they aren’t discriminating and that other groups operating in the same space as Salaberrios’ church are facing similar regulations.

In December, we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court had refused to hear a case surrounding the city’s ban on public school usage by churches. In a game of judicial volleyball, a federal appeals court upheld the policy in June, reversing the previous stance of a district judge. The high court’s refusal to hear the case, thus, upholds the June ruling.

The legal battle between the Bronx Household of Faith, an evangelical Christian church, and the city has been raging for years:

YouTube Preview Image

While the city is purportedly seeking to ban religious use of public school buildings on weekends and during times when the buildings are unused, there are certainly some downsides, outside of religious liberty, to their actions. Aside from the fact that children aren’t using the buildings at this time (i.e. indoctrination isn’t a concern), several million dollars in estimated rent will no longer flow into the city’s coffers — and at a time when cuts to public programs are consistently on the table.

Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro

Also, community churches help ease some of the constraints present in communities. From gangs to assistance to the poor, it’s often beneficial to have churches present in high-needs communities. By forcing the churches to leave public property, there’s no guarantee some of the help that they were once offering these areas will still be available following their exit.

WORLD on Campus reports that 150 congregations will need to move their meeting spaces when the public school ban goes into effect next month. Cabrera is said to be working with Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro to come up with a state legislation that would void the city’s public school ban.

Castro, according to WORLD, has introduced Bill A08800, which would allow “the use of school buildings and school sites for religious meetings and worship when not in use for school purposes or when such service or worship is deemed not disruptive of normal school operations.”

Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/christian-pastors-arrested-as-they-protest-nyc-ban-on-churches-in-public-schools/


Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Texas Man’s Pregnant Wife Never Wanted to Have a Gun in the House – But Now She’s Sure Glad He Insisted
Item #1 of 2 [caption id="attachment_28130" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Guns save more lives protecting the innocent and victims of crime than any mainstream news outlet has ever told you about! Thank God that lawful citizens are protected by the 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms and defe

posted 10:42:28pm Sep. 13, 2013 | read full post »

Heartwarming! Service dog helps teen with diabetes
Calvin's Commentary: The following story and video is about a young 18-year old teenager, Sadie Jensen, with a debilitating, life-threatening, incurable, life-long illness and a service dog named Bailey. Bailey has been trained to detect and warn Sadie when her blood sugar drops so low she could die

posted 9:57:47pm Sep. 13, 2013 | read full post »

9-11-TRIBUTE-2013 ~ 2 Million Bikers Rally To Washington DC vs Million Muslim Demonstration where 20-25 Showed up for ill-timed "No Fear" Protest
KNOW HOW THE MUSLIMS CAN GET PEOPLE TO STOP FEARING THEM? THEY DON'T NEED TO DEMONSTRATE! JUST QUIT BLOWING UP CHRISTIANS AND OTHER PEOPLE AND BUILDINGS! QUIT BEHEADING NON MUSLIMS! STOP THEIR TERROR TACTICS! STOP MAKING WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST! STOP SAYING THEY ARE GOING TO WIPE ISRAEL O

posted 10:36:17pm Sep. 12, 2013 | read full post »

Family dog helps alert parents to abusive baby sitter (video)
Good Dog! Snitched on ill-treatment of his beloved family member and sent babysitter to jail! ↓To view video, click large arrow in center below↓ A loyal and protective dog helped alert parents to an abusive baby sitter in South Carolina. According to WCSC, which originally reported t

posted 8:48:41pm Sep. 12, 2013 | read full post »

Sept.11,2013 - 3 Good News Stories #3: Fisherman Reels in Wallet Stolen 3 Years Ago
GOOD NEWS ARTICLE #3 [caption id="attachment_28048" align="aligncenter" width="608"] Stolen Wallet found by Joshua Woods while fishing.  But there's an even stranger twist to this story. Woods wasn't always the person he is today and wonders if he would have returned the wallet if he were the

posted 12:36:17am Sep. 11, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.