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Freedom of Religion - Part 1

• Does a church have a legal right to conduct Sunday worship services in a public high school auditorium? No, concluded a federal district court in Nevada. A church of about 100 members had been meeting in a privately-owned auditorium. Its pastor asked local school officials if the church could rent the public high school auditorium on Sunday mornings. The school officials declined this request on the basis of a school policy prohibiting use of school facilities for religious uses. The church immediately filed a lawsuit against the school district, seeking a court order permitting use of the public high school auditorium on Sundays. In support of its case, the church argued that the high school permitted many non-religious groups to rent the auditorium, and it thereby had created an "open forum" that could not be denied to any group (including a church). The school district argued that ...

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  • May 1, 1989