Thursday, July 05, 2012

Phoenix Christian Jailed for Home Worship Gatherings

Michael Salman, owner of Mighty Mike's Burgers, has been sentenced to jail (possibly for years) because he and his wife Suzanne have a few dozen family & friends to their 1.5-acre property every week where they study the Bible, worship God, and pray in Jesus' name. Although their gatherings are private -- not advertised to the public in any way -- the court ruled that ANY Christian worship gathering on their property is against the law.

For background, read Arizona City Bans Bible Studies in Homes and also read City Permit Required for Bible Study in Calif. as well as 'Big Brother' Requires Permit for Home Bible Study

Related story: California Pastor Arrested for Reading Bible in Public

UPDATES 7/16/12: Christian, now in jail, will appeal to Feds

FOX News video:

FOX News video:

FOX News video:

-- From "Pastor Michael Salman Reports to Jail Over Phoenix Home-Worship Flap, but Gets Turned Away; 60-Day Sentence Still Looms" by Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times 6/20/12

. . . The home has even been raided by police -- twice. City inspectors say a structure on the property where the gatherings take place isn't safe.

After a lengthy battle in federal court, last week a judge denied his motion to block the sentence and tossed his civil lawsuit. Theoretically, that meant he should have to serve the sentence.

But it seems as though city officials lost their nerve after Salman self-surrendered and was booked in at the Maricopa County jail. Inexplicably, jail officials sent him home, Salman says.

However, in the meantime, he and his attorney plan to file another motion with the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals in an attempt to stall or quash the sentence.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ariz. Preacher Sentenced to Jail After Building 'Private' Church in Backyard" by Nicola Menzie, Christian Post Reporter 6/21/12

The preacher, whose ministry is called Harvest Christian Fellowship, claims he was exercising his religious liberty by worshiping at home on his private property, and that his gatherings were no different than when people hold Super Bowl or Christmas parties.

The issue with Salman's case was a building in his backyard, which the City said he constructed without abiding by legal codes and safety standards. The building, reportedly used for weekly gatherings of about 30 to 40 people, has a pulpit and chairs. The building, located on his 1.5-acre property, is about 2,000 square feet and was previously labeled a "game room" by Salman but organized on the inside for worship services.

Salman, who describes himself as a "Pastor of the Christian faith" and was ordained in 1996 by Church of God in Christ elders, has spoken out on the case in several videos published to his YouTube Channel.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.