Judge Rules NYC Churches Can Use School Buildings

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Churches can once again meet for worship in New York City public school buildings while their legal case plays out in the courts.

District Judge Loretta Preska issued an injunction Friday in the case of the Bronx Household of Faith, a tiny evangelical church that meets in a public grade school.

The judge ruled churches have the right to hold services in the city's public schools, belying New York City's no-worship policy.

"In this court's view, losing one's right to exercise freely and fully his or her religious beliefs is a greater threat to our democratic society than a misperceived violation of the Establishment Clause," Preska said.

An appeals court ruled last week that the judge's previous injunction was too narrow, only covering the congregation named in the petition.

The city said it will file another appeal, though it will consider pending applications from churches for school space this weekend.

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