A Pennsylvania town has sent a cease and desist order to a family that held bible study sessions on its privately-owned farm.
“[Sewickley Heights] Borough leaders accused Scott and Terri Fetterolf of improperly using their 35-acre farm as a place of worship, a place of assembly and as a commercial venue,” wrote Todd Starnes.
The cease and desist was sent to the family in October 2017, and since then the Independence Law Firm has filed suit against the town.
“Government should not target religious activities for punishment, particularly when similar secular activities are permitted,” said Jeremy Samek, Senior Counsel for the Independence Law Center. “In America, no government can categorically ban people from assembling to worship on one’s own property.”
The suit alleges that the town is violating religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and equal protection laws, noting that other assemblies are permitted in the town for a number of different purposes.
“According to the lawsuit, the Fetterolfs were threatened with fines of $500 per day plus court costs for having Bible studies at their home, having meetings where religious songs are sung, conducting any religious retreats for church leaders or seminary students or conducting any religious fundraisers,” Starnes wrote.
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