A federal judge granted New York City churches a temporary restraining order Thursday, allowing congregations to worship in public school buildings for at least 10 more days.
The ruling by Judge Loretta A. Presika gives the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York more time to consider whether it's unconstitutional for religious groups to meet in public schools.
"Churches help communities; evicting churches hurts communities. Empty buildings offer nothing to communities that need hope," Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jordan Lorence said in response to the decision.
The ADF has been representing the churches in court.
"The court's order is a message of hope for fundamental freedoms in New York City because it means that, for the time being, the city must welcome churches as it does other groups," he added. "ADF will continue to fight this battle relentlessly until the city no longer unconstitutionally prohibits activity for purely religious reasons."
New York City is the only place in the nation that prohibits churches from meeting in vacant school buildings on the weekends.