Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Retired People Have to Sue to not Pray

This is why we have a separation between Church and State. There is no reason that any elderly person living in a public housing complex to be forced to pray or convert to Christianity. I know that this was not sanctioned practice by the State, but this is exactly why we have to especially careful with faith based initiatives.

Suit: Residents harassed into Bible study

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter

Residents of a Westmont public housing complex for seniors said in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that they were coerced and harassed by management into practicing Christianity and pressured to attend Bible study classes.

Five former and current residents of the complex, along with housing advocate Hope Fair Housing, are suing the complex and its property manager, saying they used "coercive, harassing and restrictive rules and regulations to impose their 'Christian' beliefs upon current residents."

Hope Fair Housing, based in Wheaton, also alleges the complex only invites low-income Chinese tenants and discriminates against any other potential residents.

The defendants in the case include the Illinois Chinese American Residence for the Elderly, 501 N. Cass Ave. in Westmont, Angela Yuan, president of the board of directors, and Providence Management and Development Company Inc.

Hid in bathrooms, residents say

Elderly non-Christian residents of the 60-unit complex said they live in a "religiously hostile and intimidating environment," where they are barred from using common rooms for anything non-Christian, including card playing, according to the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs Shen Tong Bea Tu, 87, and Yue Ru Lee, 86, who are non-Christian, say they hid in their apartment bathrooms with the lights off every Wednesday so they wouldn't be forced to attend Bible classes.

Other tenants claim in the lawsuit that Yuan visited them individually and demanded they kneel down with her and pray after she learned they had played Mah Jongg, a Chinese game similar to dominoes, in the building.

(Full Story)


NYgirl said...

This is an awful story. However, I hope that it is an expection, as faith-based groups do tend to have much better sucess rates at social services

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Well, forcing anyone into prayer is a no no, irrespective of current arguments.