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Family Facing Fines for Hosting Bible Study

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Sep 18
  • Comments

A Florida family is facing a $250-per-day fine for hosting a Friday night prayer and Bible study in their home -- an act that city officials argue violates zoning codes, Todd Starnes reports. Shane and Marlene Roessiger of Venice, Fla., host weekly prayer and study gatherings, which are attended by as many as 10 people. The family is also facing fines for putting a small sign in their front yard that reads: “Need Prayer (941) 484-4915.” Roessiger said, “It’s difficult to understand how it is illegal to have a prayer meeting on Friday night with a half dozen people but it is alright if I invited the same group on Monday evening to watch Monday Night Football.” The Pacific Justice Institute is representing the family. “They are having a specific problem with this family solely because they are having family and friends over to read the bible and pray,” Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice, said. “That may be fine in some tyrannical parts of the world. That is not okay in the United States of America.” Pam Johnson, a spokesperson for the city of Venice, sent a statement defending their actions to Fox News. She confirmed that the two cases against the family involve a code infraction regarding the use of a sign and a zoning infraction regarding using their home as a "house of worship." The Roessigers run a small ministry called In Him Healing Touch Ministries, which Dacus believes the city used to build a case against the family.