NEW YORK, April 3 (UPI) -- A New York City pastor said he was "very sad" about a federal appeals court's ruling Thursday that his church does not have the right to hold services in a public school.
The court ruled 2-1 against the Bronx Household of Faith, reversing a decision in 2012 by a federal judge. The battle between the church and the city has been going on for two decades.
The city's ban on the use of public schools for religious services is "consistent with its constitutional duties," the court said.
Robert Hall, the church's longtime pastor, disagreed. He said the church has almost completed its own building across the street from the school where it has been worshipping since 2002.
“We’re very sad about it,” Hall told the New York Daily News. “This is about our rights. There seems to be an increasing attempt to marginalize Christianity in civilization.”
Donna Lieberman, head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, praised the decision. She said freedom of religion depends on "separation of church and state."
[NY Daily News]