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-Sacramento: “Too Many Churches Already”

by Dr. D ~ August 27th, 2014

Immigrant Christians Have Difficulty Getting Their Place of Worship Approved

Flag_of_Sacramento,_California.svg

Romanian Christians who left their home country because of persecution found a new kind of discrimination in Sacramento, California when they attempted to receive city approval for a place of worship. One of the reasons given for a permit refusal for their new location was that there are “too many churches already” in the city.

That is when the lawyers for Pacific Justice Institute went to work.  PJI’s Brad Dacus said the following about the case:

"Another reason given was that they said there were too many churches already," says Dacus, whose law firm is representing the church. "You know, it’s not the business of government to dictate how many churches we need." …

"They recognized clear similarities of the hostility that they had experienced in Romania, being persecuted as Christians, and they were having some of the same kind of resistance to be able to have a place to worship here in the United States."

Response: Fortunately PJI was able to obtain a favorable 5-0 vote from the city’s Planning Commission after threatening to take legal action.

Unfortunately cases like this in California are not at all rare except for the fact in this situation the affected church was comprised of Romanian Christians who fled their home country because of persecution only to face a surprising form of the same thing in the USA. Surprising because we are supposed to have a Constitution that guarantees religious freedom particularly when it comes to governmental interference.

Nevertheless, cities all over California and all across America are looking for ways to limit and regulate churches through their zoning and building codes. The major reason for this is the lack of tax revenue coming in to the city coffers from churches and places of worship. Undoubtedly this is why Sacramento bureaucrats complained and cited that there were already “too many churches” in their jurisdiction.

There was a time in America, and I remember it well, when churches were actually considered to be an asset for any community but this is no longer the case in our increasingly secular culture.            *Top

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2 Responses to -Sacramento: “Too Many Churches Already”

  1. Brian

    Oddly, Dr. D, within 2 minutes after reading your article, I read an article about the Federal Government filing suit in St. Anthony MN because the city refused to grant a permit for the construction of a house of worship.

    The US attorney was quoted as saying: “Freedom of religion and the right to assembly peaceably are enshrined for all Americans in the Bill of Rights. . . [They] have a right to assembly peaceably — they have a right to practice their religion, and it’s our job to enforce that right.”

    The city’s position echoes that of Sacramento: ‘The conditional use permit was denied based on the appropriate need to restrict assembly and religious uses within the very limited amount of industrial area within the city,” according to a statement by a representative of St. Anthony.

    So, what is the difference between the multiple cases of anti-Christian discrimination in California (about which the federal government has never raised a finger) and the one case in Minnesota, which has triggered a full-court press government response? Could the difference be that the city of St. Anthony was discriminating against Muslims?

    Brian

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian,
    It is even worse than that. I also read about that case and the same law passed by Congress could be used by the Justice department to insure that Christian churches are not discriminated against but they will not go to the mat except when protecting Muslim rights.

    Even more obvious, a Christian church tried to get approval in the very same area earlier in St. Anthony but the Obama administration did not help them at all–
    same industrial zoning, same area, and same situation!!!!

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