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-Home Prayer Group Wins Legal Battle in Florida

by Dr. D ~ October 8th, 2012

English: Home bible study with the help of a b...

                                               (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is great news, a home worship group wins once again. We are seeing home Bible study and prayer groups being challenged all across America in the last couple of years.

In Venice, Florida, Shane and Marlene Roessiger, faced fines of $250 per day for city code violations for hosting a weekly prayer group attended by 6-10 people in their home.

The city’s Code Enforcement Board ruled that the codes did not allow a “house of worship” on a property smaller than two acres. They also ruled that a sign in their yard was illegal. The sign reads:

"Need Prayer (941) 484-4915"

The Pacific Justice Institute represented the family and wrote a letter to the city informing the officials that they were infringing on the couple’s Constitutional rights and that the Roessiger’s would continue exercising their rights to host a prayer and Bible study in their home. Also, since political yard signs were a legal exception in the city, PJI asserted that the prayer sign should also be allowed.

After months of legal battles, the city backed down and the Roessiger’s won their case. On the advice of the city attorney, the city board voted unanimously to drop both matters.

Response: It is very important for Christians to stand up for their Constitutional rights. Home worship and Bible study groups are currently under attack in many different places and it is important to stand up to the challenges to our religious freedoms in this country. Home worship groups have been meeting in homes before the Constitution was even written and before the nation was even formed. There is no way that cities can legally eliminate them except if we give up without a fight.

If your home group is being challenged by your city, then you should contact groups like The Pacific Justice Institute or the Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) to meet the legal assault. We cannot give in to these attacks or we will find that our religious rights and freedom of religion will one day be limited to ‘freedom of worship’ within the four walls of an official worship center that meets all arbitrary city and state codes. 

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