Religious Groups to March Across Brooklyn Bridge Against School Ban

by Ann Pierret, Alen Kanlic
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Brooklyn Bridge
Olesund, flickr

Groups want permanence in city schools.

New York City religious groups aren’t taking the threat of eviction sitting down.

New York political and religious leaders are marching across the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday. They are protesting the city's ban on religious groups worshipping in public schools. This is the Right to Worship Movement’s second march since late January, when the city first banned worship in the city’s public schools.

A U.S. District Court judge granted churches a temporary reprieve while the issue plays out in court. The churches affected by the ban say the fight isn't over until they get permanent access. The city council is considering a resolution, while the state legislature is looking at a bill that would overturn the ban.  

Sal Sabino, pastor of the Heavenly Vision Christian Center in the Bronx, says he is still looking for a new venue to hold mass if city wins the case. Sabino says his church’s role creates a positive impact in the city. Heavenly Vision works with troubled youth and ex-convicts to avoid living a life of crime. Sabino says the church’s contribution to the city isn’t something that should be ignored.

“This is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Sabino said, “We believe that we can all work together for the enhancement of the communities.”

The Bloomberg Administration has continually said religious worship in schools violates the separation of church and state.

Sabino says the city is contradicting itself, “There are more city and state government programs in churches, than churches utilizing schools, so what’s the difference?”

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