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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : International Codes May Force Home Churches, Small Groups to Pony Up, Shut Down or Go Underground

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

 International Codes May Force Home Churches, Small Groups to Pony Up, Shut Down or Go Underground

In light of the recent incarceration of Michael Salman, Christians nationwide are expressing their concerns as to whether they may be forced to adhere to commercial building codes if they wish to utilize their home for regular gatherings, including worship meetings and Bible studies.

Salman was recently jailed for operating a “church” on the family’s 4.6 acre residential property without conforming to commercial code, and is currently serving a 60-day sentence.

Aaron Carreon-Ainsa, Phoenix City Prosecutor, told Christian News Network that Salman’s charges only pertained to the 2,000-square foot building in Salman’s back yard and not gatherings in his living room. However, correspondence from the City of Phoenix to Mr. Salman, written before he moved his gatherings to the building in his back yard, indicate that he was not allowed to hold Bible studies in his home either.

“Bible studies are not allowed to be conducted in your residence or the barn on your property as these structures do not comply with the construction code for this use,” one letter from the city stated, which Salman presented in an online video. Another letter from Assistant Development Services Director Robert J. Goodhue, now retired, outlined, “…Bible studies are not allowed in the residence… The simple and direct answer [as to why] is that the Bible study use requires a change of occupancy.”

The International Code Council

The letters cite the Phoenix building code, which was written by the International Code Council (ICC). The city adopted the 2006 code as many municipalities nationwide have done also.

ICC is an organization that creates unified, singular codes for municipalities to follow. It’s president is William D. Dupter, the Deputy County Administrator for Community Development of the County of Chesterfield, Virginia. Seventeen other individuals across the country, from Rhode Island to Texas and Utah comprise its leadership.

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 2013/2/3 9:48Profile

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