Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Church Services in NYC Schools

The Supreme Court denied an evangelical church's plea to overturn New York City's ban on after-school religious worship services at public schools.

The justices on Monday left in place a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the city's policy, according to The Associated Press.

The Bronx Household of Faith is an evangelical Christian church that held Sunday services at P.S. 15 in the Bronx since 2002. The church was allowed to continue services pending the outcome of the school's lawsuit against the city.

The church said the city allows many groups to use the school's buildings after hours. However, the city said it risks blurring the separation of church and state if it allows worship services in public schools to continue.

The city said nearly 60 congregations used public schools for their religious services in 2009.

On the church’s website, it is said the ruling against the church is seen as a refusal to recognize the authority of God above the state.

“Second, both are intrusions of the state, inasmuch as they are attempts to regulate and redefine activity that antedates and transcends the state. I am referring to the 2 to 1 decision handed down by the Second Circuit on June 2 that overturned the injunction in place since 2002 enabling us and over 60 other churches to rent an empty school building on Sundays for our meetings,” said the church's website.

“They might be meeting on the street,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, to Fox News Radio. “The religious groups are not seeking special treatment, but equal treatment.”

The church raised over $1 million for the construction of a permanent residence, but it still needs over $375,000 to finish the new building.

“The ministry opportunities that this building will provide are greater than ever,” the church’s website said.