Pastor Jailed for Holding Bible Studies at Home Pastor Jailed for Holding Bible Studies at Home
Pastor Jailed for Holding Bible Studies at Home

Pastor Jailed for Holding Bible Studies at Home

Pastor Jailed for Holding Bible Studies at Home

by Steve Eastman, Faith Issues

When Maricopa County Arizona shows up in national headlines, it’s often for something commendable like Sheriff Joe Arpaio investigating the eligibility of Barack Obama to run for President or trying to clamp down on illegal immigration.  

But this time it’s a different story.  Pastor Michael Salman is now a “guest” in Sheriff Joe’s jail for the next 60 days or so.  And he faces a more than 12 thousand dollar fine for holding Bible studies in his home one too many times.  The famous lawman really has no say in the matter.  It’s matter between the pastor and the city of Phoenix.

Salman has been holding the studies for the past seven years on his nearly five acres of property.   He tried to accommodate the city by building what he calls a barn in the backyard, going so far as to install an exit sign and a bathroom equipped for people with disabilities.  He drew the line by refusing to pave his on-site gravel road and install curbs.

The city claims it’s not an issue of religious freedom, but one of zoning and permits.  Salman disagrees, saying he suspects officials would allow similar-sized gatherings for playing poker or watching football.

You’ve got to wonder what kind of impression this will give the pastor’s six kids about government as they wait with their mother for his return. The Rutherford Institute has filed an appeal with a federal court.  Similar cases have been overturned.
 
© 2012 Faith Issues
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