Friday, January 01, 2010

Judge Rules Against Chicago, For Church

The city's actions against the church group were "malicious prosecution of a religious organization."
-Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner

"It is unconstitutional to use city zoning restrictions to shut down existing religious community services just because the city wants to use a building for other purposes."

-- From "Judge backs Chicago church group in Katrina suit" by Associated Press 12/31/09

World Outreach Conference Center sued the city in 2006 after city officials denied the church group a license to convert a YMCA in a single-occupancy dwelling.

The Chicago ministry group bought the building in 2005. It would have housed at least 168 Katrina victims.

The court says the license was turned down because Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale wanted to sell the building to a financial backer.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court overturns 'malicious prosecution' of ministry" by Bob Unruh © 2010 WorldNetDaily 1/1/10

[John Mauck, of the Chicago firm Mauck & Baker, LLC. said,] "We are pleased that the 7th Circuit has recognized that federal law protects ministries from being targeted by zoning regulations and has sharply rebuked the abuses of the city council member responsible and some city officials."

The city of Chicago sued World Outreach Conference Center to shut its outreach ministry and community center, even though the building had operated as a community center since 1926, according to officials with the Alliance Defense Fund, which helped fund the work on behalf of the church.

The city also refused to let the organization house people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, even though the Federal Emergency Management Agency asked for that help.

Documentation in the case indicates the city refused to allow the church to use the building for single-room occupancy services because "9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale wanted the old YMCA structure sold to his friend and financial backer."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.