ACLJ Defeats Locality’s Attempt to Shut Down Small Home Prayer Gathering

August 23, 2021

Charisma News - Each year, the American Center for Law and Justice receives numerous legal requests for help relating to discrimination against churches, religious organizations, and individuals by local authorities through the zoning process. And each year, we send out demand letters and informational memos, and sometimes file lawsuits to defend religious liberty, because the law and the Constitution are on our side.

A recent example of one such request came from a private homeowner desiring to hold weekly prayer gatherings in his home. After a few weeks of these prayer gatherings, the homeowner received a notice from city officials demanding that he cease and desist his prayer gatherings until he had obtained special permission from the proper zoning authorities.

The city asserted that the homeowner was operating a church or house of worship as defined under the city's ordinance as "churches, temples, synagogues, religious organizations, parish houses and parochial schools" and likened to non-residential uses such as a day care centers, treatment institutions and mental health facilities.

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