"First Church of Deliverance" by Zol87 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Atheist Group Demands Chicago Stop Funding Church Renovations with Taxpayer Cash

Nov 21, 2018

By Hemant Mehta

The Supreme Court’s 2017 Trinity Lutheran decision allowed for churches to apply for taxpayer-funded grants as long as it was for a secular reason. But a church in Chicago is under fire after receiving more than $220,000 to advance its religious agenda.

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the First Church of Deliverance got the money from the city’s Adopt-a-Landmark program which gives money to historical buildings for things like maintenance, but the application itself made clear the goal was to advance the church’s religious outreach.

… The church explained that the renovations will attract visitors to the church, many of whom the church expects will “remain and become part of the body because they find solace, services and support vital for spiritual and natural growth.”

The church received the funds not just for external restoration, but also internal work, including two painted murals displaying religious iconography. The church’s application emphasized multiple other ways the grant money would expand its services, including an after-school tutoring ministry.

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