Matters of Faith 7- 29 Bible Study arrest
BIRMINGHAM - AL —
Imagine getting arrested for having a Bible Study on your property.
you might expect it in some parts of the world... but not in the U.S.
but it did happen... here.
brenda ladun has more in matters of faith.
Pastor Michael Salman constructed this building earlier this year, behind his home in Phoenix.
here he leads bible studies for the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church.
but neighbors didn't like it.
Pastor Michael Salman says, "We checked with the Attorney Generals Office ... Bible Studies in your home are legal.
But when worshippers arrived... Salman says, the neighborhood went berserk.
Neighbors claimed those attending kicked up too much dust and made too much noise.
Salman. "Our kids were crying mommy you and daddy are going to jail?"
A few weeks later he was cited with 100 code violations saying he was operating a church with out a license. Police say there are multiple fire risks posing a safety hazard for those who go there.
Salman. "We just want Bible study with our friends and our family it's crazy."
We checked with the Dean of the Cumberland Law School on the precedent this might set.
Dean John Carroll says, "We should not all be concerned... that this will set a precedent across the nation... and here in Alabama. It may be they are taking it too far but there's little doubt the city of Mountain Brook for example you can't put a church in this house .... between the government trying to limit religious rights. The Bible studies we have and I've certainly had em in my house don't effect anything."
He also says, "People should not get up in arms over this one."
Pastor Salman says it's religious persecution and vows to fight the city in court.