Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clergymen And Pastor Arrested In New York City After Protesting New Ban On Religious Groups

I've seen Western persecution on the level of double standards, getting fired from and hate speech. Nothing on the level of what our brethren in Christ facing in places like China, Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan. However being arrested takes the persecution to another level. This is very frightening.

01/06/2012 United States (CIC) - Police arrested a New York City Councilman and Pastor Fernando Cabrera, Pastor Bill Devlin, and five others Thursday (January 5, 2012) morning on charges of "criminal trespassing." Their alleged trespass was kneeling and singing two hymns outside the doors of the New York City Law Department.

According to a story written by Tiffany Owens for, the protest was part of an ongoing effort to overturn the city's ban against religious groups' use of public schools for worship services, scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 12. Before they knelt, the seven were standing with more than 50 people holding signs outside the building. Police then held them in custody for three hours.

"Devlin, pastor of Manhattan Bible Church, said the ban assaults freedom of religion and speech. Lorence added that the case is based on a fundamental misinterpretation of the Constitution: He argues that forbidding private speech because it's religious is not protecting the separation of church and state, but instead is suppressing freedom of religion and freedom of speech."

The rationale for banning religious groups' use of public school space is that "impressionable children" might think that government is endorsing religious belief, said Tiffany Owens. Lorence and Devlin are afraid, she went on, that the school-use ban will eventually become a broader ban against religious organizations meeting in any state-funded building, including university auditoriums that house worship services of large churches. For example, Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York pays rent to hold services at Hunter College.

Lorence said the ban reflects an irrational and anti-religion sentiment in New York, one that portrays religion as "dangerous and something that must be kept entirely out of the public square." He added that the ban suggests that churches and religious groups are "piranhas and parasites," even though they often house community-friendly ministries to the poor. "Our city is trying to do away with faith," Lorence said. "We can tolerate everybody but religious viewpoints. That's pretty scary(Source)."

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