Religion in Society

Atheist Group Disputes 'Church Prayer Station' in City Building

| by FRC

A group of atheists and agnostics is challenging the city of Warren, Mich. for allowing a church to set up a "prayer station" in the lobby of city offices for people struggling with lost jobs, financial problems and other troubles, The Detroit News reports.

The station was set up by the Tabernacle, a Warren church, The News reports. But the Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a request for copies of city policy, the rental agreement with the church and verification that it is being charged for the space. It criticizes the city for not disassociating itself from the religious message of the church, The News reports.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts tells the paper that the city rents the space to any group that complies with policies and fills out proper paperwork. Because it is a non-profit, the church can lease the space for free. He calls any objections to the prayer station "much ado about nothing."

"There is no agressiveness on the part of the prayer station," he tells the paper. "They are there for people who seek them out."