The wife of a North Dakota pastor was fined $150 for what the police chief claims is “disturbing the peace.”
Martha Nagbe had to visit court twice and was eventually fined for praying too loudly on city sidewalks, reported Valley News Live.
"I mean, we all need prayers and great she's out there praying for all of us, but it's just the volume of her voice,” said Police Chief Jeanette Persons. Police continue to stress that this has absolutely nothing to do with race, religion or freedom of speech, but simply that Nagbe was causing unnecessary noise.
Persons said the police department had received complaints in the past from neighbors regarding the loud prayers. The neighbors “have been woken up and she is standing outside of their house shouting. It's not that she just walks by, but she will stand out there for a lengthy period of time,” explained the police chief.
Nagbe has been told to stop praying downtown and in area neighborhoods and that if she doesn’t lower her voice, she will continue to be fined. “I can't stop,” said Nagbe. “I'm trusting God."
She says, "In the United States it's one nation under God,” and believes her rights to freedom of speech, religion and expression are being denied by the police.
"For them to antagonize her, to make her look like a bad person, sometimes makes me angry,” said Pastor Juwle Nagbe, her husband. “Somebody should give her the respect that she deserves."
Police have no issue with her praying outside and sharing her faith with others, but simply want her to lower her voice.