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WVa city council ordered to stop reciting The Lord’s Prayer

May 17, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia city was ordered Tuesday to stop opening its council meetings with The Lord’s Prayer.

U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. ruled that Parkersburg City Council’s practice of opening its meetings with the New Testament prayer violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government from favoring one religion over others.

The judge issued a permanent injunction against the prayer recital and awarded $1 in damages to each plaintiff.

Copenhaver ruled in a lawsuit filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Madison, Wisconsin-based group and two of its members sued the city in 2018.

The judge issued a permanent injunction against the prayer recital and awarded $1 in damages to each plaintiff.

The lawsuit said residents stood at each Parkersburg City Council meeting to recite the prayer with council members. Plaintiffs Daryl Cobranchi and Eric Engle of Parkersburg attended some meetings, remained seated and did not participate in the prayer’s recital.