At-Home Bible Study Lands Man in Jail

City says pastor was violating zoning laws
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2012 10:50 AM CDT
At-Home Bible Study Lands Man in Jail
A man who held Bible study in his private home is now behind bars.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Gang-member-turned-pastor Michael Salman found himself behind bars after holding a Bible study at his home, reports Fox News. Authorities say Salman violated zoning laws, and thus his probation, when he gathered some 80 people at his four-acre home, but the Phoenix man and his family are crying foul, saying his constitutional rights have been violated. "Christians deserve the right to gather at their homes privately just like every other American has the right to gather for their reasons," says his wife.

But the city says religion has nothing to do with it, rather that his home did not meet proper construction and fire safety codes to accommodate so many people. Salman is now being held in the state's infamous Tent City jail, which has been housing prisoners in outdoor facilities due to overpopulation. But Salman isn't letting his charges get him down: He's now holding a Bible study inside the prison, with about 30 inmates attending. And his lawyer says that if given the chance, "I'm sure he'd do it all over again." (More Arizona stories.)

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