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City protects church's ministry

Becky Yeh - California correspondent   ( Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A non-profit legal defense organization is pleased that leaders of one California city have ruled against their own planning commission and sided with a church that ministers to the homeless.

In December, the Placerville Planning Commission voted against a previous recommendation to approve a conditional use permit to Mercy Way Rescue Mission and Church, even accusing the organization that serves the homeless of "masquerading as a church."

Dacus, Brad (PJI)Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), explains that that decision placed the church at the brink of shutdown.

"This small church in Placerville, California, has every right to be able to exist and serve the people of that community, including the homeless," he contends.

"No church should ever be discriminated against simply because of the people that they serve. The homeless need ministry just like anyone else, and this church should be protected."

When PJI sent the city a letter pointing out the legal violations, Placerville overruled the planning commission and agreed to allow Mercy Way to continue its ministry.

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