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Petition to use public schools for prayer meetings rejected — NYTimes

The Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision that backed New York City’s decision to ban the Bronx Household of Faith from  holding its Sunday services at P.S. 15, reported The New York Times. The evangelical church had been holding its Sunday services at the school since 2002.

The decision was in line with the city’s regulation, permitted under state law, of blocking the use of public schools as a venue for worship. However, roughly 160 congregations used school buildings for religious services in the 2010-11 school year alone. Officials expect to end the hundreds of prayer services in schools by Feb. 12, 2012.

“A worship service is an act of organized religion that consecrates the place in which it is performed, making it a church,” said the decision.

Jane Gordon, the senior counsel of the New York City Law Department, said in a statement that it was “a victory for the city’s schoolchildren and their families.”


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