On Friday, a district court issued a permanent injunction against New York City’s ban on the use of the schools for worship services, permitting city churches to continue renting space in public schools on weekends.

“Churches that have been helping communities for years can continue to offer the hope that empty buildings can’t,” explained Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Jordan Lorence, who has been litigating the case. “The court’s order allows churches and other religious groups to meet for worship services in empty school buildings on weekend on the same terms as other groups.”

City officials and the New York City Board of Education, which first proposed the ban, have defended the policy by claiming that allowing religious services to be held in vacant public school facilities constitutes an inappropriate government endorsement of religion.

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