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NYC Churches Hoping for Injunction to Allow Them Back in School Buildings

A new injunction may allow churches in New York City to use public school facilities for worship services on weekends, even after a ban went into effect last week. According to The Christian Post, attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund were back in court in defense of Bronx Household of Faith, hoping to convince the court to “invalidate and restrain” the Department of Education’s policy current policy of forbidding churches to worship on school grounds. The ADF says they’re hopeful an injunction can be issued because of how the proceedings went—Judge Loretta A. Preska asked the DOE if they would consider allowing churches to use school facilities temporarily while the case was under review. If the DOE refused, the judge said she would issue an order by the end of this week.

“Churches and other religious groups should be able to meet in public buildings on the same terms as other community groups,” ADF said in a statement. “A government can’t solve the supposed problem of appearing as though it is endorsing religion by treating churches worse than everybody else. The city’s policy prohibits activity for religious reasons, and that is both unconstitutional and at odds with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in a different case.”

The New York Senate has also passed a bill repealing the ban, but it still needs approval by the state assembly. Prominent pastors such as Rick Warren and Tim Keller have already spoken out against the ban. More than 60 churches from all five New York City boroughs are currently affected by the ban.