Cartagena, Colombia, May 20, 2016 / 02:02 am
In what's been labeled an "absurd" move, a judge in Colombia has banned prayer and "fraternal hugs" at the start of Cartagena city council sessions as well as local educational institutions.
The ban on civic prayer – as well as the baffling prohibition against "fraternal hugs" anywhere from businesses to private family life – has generated immense controversy and protests among Christians on the country's coast.
Judge Alejandro Bonilla Aldana's May 10 ruling suspends the first article of a 2007 accord which established prayer at "the beginning of all daily activities in local government entities as a basic approach to recovering the religious principles of the city."
The daily El Colmbiano reported that a lawsuit against the accord was filed by Miguel Ángel Garcés who is connected with the Autonomous University of the Caribbean. Garcés took up the charge against the accord after a similar effort was rejected by the court in 2015.