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NYC ban on worship in public schools upheld before Easter, Passover

Thursday - 4/3/2014, 8:40pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal appeals court decision could leave dozens of religious groups in New York City with no place to celebrate Easter or Passover.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that New York's ban on religious services in public schools is constitutional. It's the latest development in a two-decade legal battle involving the Bronx Household of Faith, but dozens of other Christian and Jewish groups also meet in public schools.

New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to lift the ban before some congregations are left with no place to celebrate Easter or Passover.

The mayor said it's too early to assess the impact of the latest ruling but added that he stands by his beliefs "that a faith organization playing by the same rules as any other community nonprofit deserves access."

Bronx Household of Faith Pastor Robert Hall says he expects the case to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which he prays "will overturn this decision."

Sound:

%@AP Links

266-w-33-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with the Rev. Robert Hall, pastor of Bronx Household of Faith)--A federal appeals court decision could leave dozens of New York City churches with no place to celebrate Easter. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (3 Apr 2014)

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220-a-06-(The Rev. Robert Hall, pastor of Bronx Household of Faith, in AP interview)-"on this case"-The Rev. Robert Hall, pastor of Bronx Household of Faith, says his church isn't the only one affected by the appeals court ruling. (3 Apr 2014)

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219-a-05-(The Rev. Robert Hall, pastor of Bronx Household of Faith, in AP interview)-"overturn this decision"-The Rev. Robert Hall, pastor of Bronx Household of Faith, says the case probably isn't over. (3 Apr 2014)

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