A housing complex for seniors in the state of Missouri has pulled a 180, reversing its ban to now allow Bible studies to be held in a common area of the facility.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice, the decision was in response to a letter it issued to the unidentified complex. The letter pointed out the legal and constitutional grounds for allowing the meetings.
The organization immediately “issued a letter to our client stating in writing that she could begin using the common area for her Bible studies again without further delay. Our client will now be able hold her Bible study for the first time in weeks!” the ACLJ reported.
WND had reported earlier when the fight arose.
The ALJ said the center, after residents had organized and held a weekly Bible study over the course of several months, suddenly said there were residents who objected to the study, and so it was canceled – and permanently banned.
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The meetings were a common area of the facility that also is used for other purposes.
Managers also claimed the facility accepts federal funds, so Bible studies are banned under Federal Housing Administration rules.
The ACLJ reported the abrupt change came after the letter was delivered.
“The management was clearly mistaken. We sent the senior living center a legal demand letter explaining that not only does the FHA allow a Bible study on federally funded property, but it expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion in regard to providing facility services (42 U.S.C. § 3604(b)),” the ACLJ said.
In fact, it cited a decision from the DOJ, which said, “No one may be discriminated against in the sale, rental or enjoyment of housing because of their religious beliefs. This includes equal access to all the benefits of housing: someone could not, for example, be excluded from reserving a common room for a prayer meeting when the room may be reserved for various comparable secular uses.”
The organization noted such cases occur “far too often.”
“When this issue first arose, our client thought this might be ‘too small and insignificant’ of an issue for the ACLJ to take on. It is not; we stand ready to defend religious liberty anywhere it is infringed,” the legal team reported.
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