.- Two seminarians who were threatened with arrest for peacefully praying outside of a topless club have secured assurances from the city of Detroit that their actions are legally protected. The two Catholic seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit have in recent weeks walked the public sidewalks in and around downtown Detroit to share the Gospel by speaking and praying with people, the American Center for Law and Justice reports.
The two would gather on the public sidewalk in front of a topless club without obstructing the sidewalk. They reportedly would pray there âin the hope of converting to Christ those who work in, and attend, the club.â
Recently, the ACLJ reports, the two were on the public sidewalk outside the club when three uniformed Detroit police officers approached them and yelled at them to leave the area. The officers claimed the seminariansâ presence and praying were disturbing the clubâs owner, employees and customers.
âThe officers told the men that if they did not leave, they would be arrested for disobeying police orders,â ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said. âThe seminarians left the area out of fear of being arrested for praying on a public sidewalk.â
After the seminarians contacted the ACLJ, its Senior Council Ed White sent a letter to city officials. He demanded a âswift endâ to the violation of the seminariansâ rights and asked for written assurance that the seminarians would be allowed to continue their religious work without further harassment or arrest.
The seminarians received the requested assurances from the city.
âThese seminarians should be praised for their courage, for the good example they set, and for their much needed ministry in Detroit,â White said.
Sekulow added: âThe fact is that we are pleased that the City of Detroit acted quickly and that our clients have resumed their ministry without further harassment.â