November 25, 2011
A California court case that drew national attention was settled this month when the city of San Juan Capistrano agreed to pay back the $300 it had fined a couple for hosting a large Bible study in their home and amend a city ordinance requiring them to get a permit, WORLD News Service reports. Chuck and Stephanie Fromm's atheist neighbor complained to the city this summer, and the city, citing an ordinance requiring churches to obtain conditional use permits, fined the Fromms twice for refusing to get one. "It was always a question of whether they were a church or not, and they were not," said city attorney Omar Sandoval. Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said: "The city has now ... made a commitment to no longer be oppressive toward families having Bible studies in their homes. The good news is that whether a family is meeting in their homes to study and worship on Wednesday night, versus Sunday morning, it really doesn't matter concerning the basic freedom we have as Americans to do that."