U.S Justice Department Supports Mississippi Church Seeking to Operate in Holly Springs Town Square
The U.S. Government Files Brief to Help Opulent Life Church of Holly Springs, MS, Lease Town Square Building
HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss., March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — This week, the U.S. Justice Department filed a brief with Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Opulent Life Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi, a client of the Liberty Institute. The church seeks permission to renovate and use a building it leased on the town square to accommodate its growing congregation.
The government’s brief contends that the city ordinance improperly singles out places of worship for special restriction and is in violation of federal law.
“We applaud the Justice Department’s support of Pastor Telsa DeBerry’s and the Opulent Life Church’s religious liberty,” said Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for Liberty Institute. “The City of Holly Springs is placing special burdens on churches that are unfair and illegal, subjecting churches to unequal treatment.”
Recently, a District Court denied such permission citing an ordinance that unfairly singles out churches with a requirement that they get permission from 60 percent of surrounding property owners. The church is appealing the court’s denial of an injunction against enforcement of the law, which according to Liberty Institute’s brief, “effectively prevents the opening of new churches in the City.” Liberty Institute is asking for relief for the church under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA.)
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to protecting and restoring religious liberties across America. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.
SOURCE Liberty Institute