New York City Council: No More Church Evictions From Public Schools

Religion Today

New York City Council: No More Church Evictions From Public Schools


Churches threatened with eviction from New York City public schools are celebrating the city council's passage of a resolution calling on state lawmakers to protect their right to rent worship space on Sundays, Christianity Today reports. The Right to Worship Resolution passed 38-11, despite opposition from Speaker Christine Quinn. "This is one of the first times in recent memory that the city council has responded to faith-based groups and, despite significant opposition, passed a resolution supporting their rights," said Tony Carnes, editor of the website A Journey Through NYC Religions, which chronicles religious life in New York City. "That's a remarkable change, and certainly will catch attention." Carnes pointed to a Journey poll indicating that nearly 70 percent of the neighbors of schools that rent to churches do not see the rentals as a problematic endorsement of religion. The long-running legal standoff between churches and the city's education department over whether or not schools can ban worship has been pending since a judge blocked the city's ban last June and the city appealed. The Supreme Court declined to hear the relevant lawsuit by the Bronx Household of Faith, and a previous attempt by lawmakers at the state level to permit church rentals failed.

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