Right to Worship, a group committed to overturning a New York City education policy that bans groups of people from meeting in public schools for the purpose of worship, marched the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday in an effort to bring attention to their cause.
Despite incremental weather conditions, a large number of people met at Cadman Plaza in New York City before marching across the Brooklyn Bridge in protest of a Department of Education policy, which bans churches from renting public school places for the purpose of worship.
The lawsuit in opposition to the policy stems from a battle with the NYC DOE that has been taking place for over 16 years. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, which in turn resulted in the February eviction of over 17,000 church members who currently meet in schools to worship.
"Everything we do is peaceful," Arlene Del Rio, a protestor who participated in the march across the bridge, told The Christian Post at a worship concert that followed the march.
Council members also argued that many of the churches that were currently meeting at schools were providing for the community in ways that the state was not through community programs and food drives.
Others argued that the policy was a violation of Constitutional rights and a personal attack on the church itself.
"This is the epitome of religious discrimination," Councilman Fernando Cabrera stated in his speech. "We're talking about a frontal attack on the good Lord."
Del Rio suggested that because the churches were paying for the space, they had as much right to "equal access" as other organization who are still permitted to rent school space.
"If everyone has a right to rent that space then [church members] should have a right to rent that space too," Del Rio said.
"It is right to break the bondages that has held our city captive for years and this is exactly what the churches have been doing. Those churches that have been rooted in public schools," Cabrera said.