Thursday, February 02, 2012

Majority of Americans Say Schools OK to Rent Church Space

A large majority of Americans consider it appropriate for public schools to be allowed to rent to churches and other community groups, according to a new study by LifeWay Research.

While those opposed to churches having access to schools willing to rent their space say doing so would violate a part of the Constitution addressing separation of church and state, 65 percent of those polled by the research group think differently.

LifeWay Research released the study as the deadline for banning use of New York City schools by churches is scheduled for Feb. 12. Up to 160 congregations that have used school buildings for worship services in the last year will be directly affected by the ban, which can be reversed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mayor has not taken any action.

"Historically schools have been welcoming locations to churches, especially in larger urban centers where schools are in the heart of the communities," said LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer. "A trend of banning church use of public schools could have significant implications."

The study found that two-thirds of the more than 2,000 U.S. residents surveyed agreed with the statement "public schools should rent to churches and other community groups," while 16 percent responded that schools "should rent to other community groups but not churches."

Additionally, 12 percent believe "public schools should not rent to any churches or community groups." There is also 1 percent who believe "public schools should rent to churches but not other community groups" and 7 percent are "not sure." keep reading.

Related article: In NYC, schools in churches are OK, but churches in schools are not?

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