Arizona Pastor Serves Sentence for Home Study

Monday, August 6, 2012

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (Worthy News)-- Pastor Michael Salman is serving a 60-day sentence in Maricopa County, Arizona, for holding a home Bible study.

Salman is being incarcerated in Tent City Jail with hardened criminals, said attorney John Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute; the Institute ispetitioning the Arizona Supreme Court on Salman’s behalf, challenging his imprisonment as a violation of the religious freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Whitehead said the same zoning laws used to imprison Salman for holding home Bible studies in Arizona could spread across America.

“If you have a small gathering in your home for any kind of religious meeting, you’re going to be harassed by the government to somehow square with the zoning regulations for a formal institution," he said.

International Christian Concern Regional Manager Ryan Morgan said Salman's detention in a military-like compound for holding home Bible studies wouldn't come as a surprise if it happened in North Korea, but "the fact that it happened in the same state as the Grand Canyon should be a resounding wake up call to every American who holds the right to worship freely close to their heart. Around the world, governments are using all sorts of laws to control and suppress religious gatherings. We cannot stand idly by as the United States does the same."