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Joined: 2009/3/17
Posts: 308
Central Alberta, Canada

 60 Days In Prison For Hosting A Home Bible Study

60 Days In Prison And A $12,180 Fine For Hosting A Home Bible Study In Arizona

"Over the past couple of decades, the number of "house churches" in the United States has absolutely exploded as an increasing number of Americans reject the big, institutional churches for one reason or another.

Now we are seeing a backlash against the home church movement."

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 2012/7/9 10:03Profile

Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175

 Re: 60 Days In Prison For Hosting A Home Bible Study

Wow, this is absolutely crazy, if the article is indeed accurate. Even so, I really don't think it's going to be long before America is openly hostile to Christianity. I mean, of course they're hostile already, but at least they try and lie about being so.

 2012/7/9 11:25Profile


I was talking with a brother about thus story. There may be more to this than what we are hearing. Concievabky some building issues. I do not know if the use of such excessive force or punishment is justified.

What is troubling are the right wing fringe groups are picking up on this story. Those who defend the constitution with the gun. Is there really an attitude of one suffering for Jesus in this story? Is there an attitude of joyfully accepting the seizure of your property knowing you have better and lasting possessions.

The question to be asked is this. Are Bible studies legal in Phoenix.? Is there a law that forbids believers to gather to study the Bible in Phoenix? In googling for more on the above story I came across an active network of Bible studies in the Phoenix area. The great majority of them meet in homes. This would presuppose that Bible studies are legal and there is more to the above story.

For sure there is hostility toward the things of Christ in N. America and it will get worse. But let us make sure it is persecution for Christ and embrace it with joy.


 2012/7/9 13:30

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


It is bad that there is such opposition already coming to the idea of anyone running a religious service on their private property. But this individual has a large church sign and cross in a residential area on the front of his property so it is a far cry from a bible study or home church.

But the time will be coming when even private home gatherings in basements will be illegal and not allowed.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/7/9 13:42Profile


And that time is not far off. But hallelujah. May we be counted worthy to suffer disgrace for his name.


 2012/7/9 17:01

 67 illegal violations he ignored. 67! and found guilty. Now he is persecuted.

"Wow, this is absolutely crazy, if the article is indeed accurate."EverestoSama

I felt the same way, Grant. I investigated a little further and found this in the comment section, several times, with addresses. Evidently this guy decided to build a church-house in his back yard, a 2000 square foot structure for the scores of people who were coming to his former home group.

Some neighbors complained, and the police were involved. The authorities determined that there was no building permit, and deemed dangerous, and as the property was not zoned commercial, where Church structures may be built, that he was to cease and desist USING this illegal building for religious meetings.

I assume his home was ok to use. In America, due to fire hazard, no one can have mass gatherings inside, depending on the size of your home. He refused, and had meetings multiple times, and this whole case was spun as him as the victim. He was not. He was the perpetrator of a rebellious criminal act. Looking at his attitude; [He is at war with his neighbors, and the authorities..] I think, in this case, Mr. Salman is persecuting them, rather than the other way around.

Even in church building, we must obey the law of the land.

“It came down to zoning and proper permitting,” said Vicki Hill, the chief assistant city prosecutor. “Any time you are holding a gathering of people continuously as he does — we have concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in case there is a fire — and that’s really all this comes down to.”

According to court documents provided to Fox News Radio, Michael Salman was found guilty in the City of Phoenix Court of 67 code violations. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail along with three years probation and a $12,180 fine.

The commentator below had the same sentiments:
"American Dream should be ashamed for deliberately omitting relevant information from its article to promote an illusion of religious intolerance as a form of misguided propaganda.

I read the details of this case from a more balanced perspective then what this article provides. It's clear this article has omitted relevant facts making it look like the city is punishing him for holding religious gatherings.

The fact of the matter is, the man built a 2,000 [sq.foot ] structure on his residential property in an attempt to become a home grown church. This violates city ordinances that can easily pose a danger to a large group of people where laws require proper exits for fire protection.

We all know you can't go around turning one's home into a church where dozens of people attend for services without following city codes. In this case, AD [ American Dream[ has overlooked these codes are designed for public safety. How sad AD is to stoop so low in order to make a story more appealing for it's readers."

 2012/7/9 17:30

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2772
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: 60 Days In Prison For Hosting A Home Bible Study

I believe that this story is just fear-mongering. Although I live in Phoenix this is the first I've heard of this story but I can tell you that there are countless home bible studies and home churches in Arizona, the state is totally hands off.

In Christ,


Ron Halverson

 2012/7/9 19:25Profile


As we previously reported, Salman has been sentenced to a startling 60 days in jail, given a $12,180 fine and granted three years probation for refusing to stop hosting Bible studies at his home. Why, you ask? He‘s apparently in violation of the city’s building code laws.

City officials claim that he’s running an operation that is reminiscent of a home church — but without the required permits. And according to Fox’s Todd Starnes, Phoenix court documents show that he violated 67 codes. Unless the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grants an emergency injunction, he will be jailed for the time given.

I really don't know why everyone is praising this guy, he's in violation of the law. He's got a large gathering of over 50 people in his home, cars parked on the street as if a convention was in town and this goes on every day or every week, no this guy is in the wrong.

This has nothing to do with his freedom to gather, this has everything to do with doing things decently and in order.

If it was a family gathering that takes place once a year that would be different, but he is trying to establish a church in an area where it's not zoned for such activities. The city had warned the Pastor to seek permits to which he failed to do. He is going to jail for the wrong reasons and the Church world is looking on in disbelief and saying, "Persecution Persecution". This is not persecution.

A poster on one site said and I quote:

Having a few visitors during the week is fine, for a birthday or other celebrations, once in a while, fine.
These people have been warned by their City about parking problems, access problems and their neighbors. THEY should have moved to the country, had a big place where their holding anything
commercial (donations) would be fine. INSTEAD they chose to alienate their own neighbors, disregard the law and press it forward acting like the INJURED PARTY in the name of JESUS. I think they do far more harm to helping people become introduced to our LORD by disregarding “Caesar’s laws”….and they have no defense. NO I won’t back them up. They, once they realized they had a growing ‘flock’…should have moved. I am disgusted by people who have no concern for their
neighbors who bought their homes and every right to expect peaceful existence. This man is no hero, he has created conflict. THIS IS NOT HOW JESUS does things. I am a grateful Christian, disruption of my neighborhood for any reason would not be okay with me.


 2012/7/9 20:13


I did some googling earlier. In the Light is right. There are evedentky a fair number of Bible studies and house churches, operating without city hindrance, in the Phoenix area. So there is more to this story as other posters are bringing out.

However let us also remember that there is hostility toward the things of Christ in America. As Greg posted earlier. House fellowships may very well be deemed illegal at some point in the near future.


 2012/7/9 20:54


House fellowships may very well be deemed illegal at some point in the near future.

Yes, and if we get anymore like this Pastor is doing, he is only making things worse for the rest of the believers everywhere.

 2012/7/9 21:21

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