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Christian Man Arrested, Jailed in Praying in Park Case
Alliance Defense Fund
March 25, 2010
A man who had been arrested after praying in 2007 at a public park was suddenly arrested again last week by Elmira police while his case is still on appeal. The arrest of Julian Raven came suddenly on March 15 while he was at his office. According to his wife, police escorted him out of a court hearing Tuesday in handcuffs in front of his crying children to begin serving his 9-day jail sentence.
“Christians shouldn’t be punished for expressing their religious beliefs. It’s ridiculous to consider the act of peacefully exercising one’s faith in a public park to be ‘disorderly conduct’ worthy of a jail sentence,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “We are surprised at how eager the city was to arrest Mr. Raven again in light of his appeal. Now he will serve time in jail; however, we will continue to aggressively pursue his appeal in court.”
Raven’s original arrest in the case People of the State of New York v. Raven is currently on appeal to the New York Court of Appeals. In 2007, Raven and other Christians entered Wisner Park in Elmira with their heads bowed to pray for the participants of a “gay pride” event. Materials advertising the event stated that it was open to the public and that all were invited.
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