A couple in Virginia who were threatened with eviction from their retirement home if they continued to hold Bible study meetings were granted the right to resume classes.
Kenneth and Liv Hauge recently made a deal with the Evergreens at Smith Run in Fredericksburg, allowing them to continue hosting Bible classes and movie screenings in the community hall.
First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm that represented the Hauges, announced the settlement on their Twitter account on Wednesday.
“BREAKING: 2020 has just begun and we are celebrating a VICTORY that stands up for the right to pray in your own home,” they tweeted.
“The FLI legal team made a deal for Ken and Liv Hauge that allowed their group to come together for their first Bible study since they were banned from meeting in 2018.”
Kenneth Hauge told Fox 5 DC in an interview last week he believed it was “just a great relief to have this behind us and be able to move on.”
In July 2018, the Community Realty Company, the parent company of Evergreens, sent a notice to the Hauge saying they had to stop holding their Bible study in the community room at the senior living center or face the expulsion.
According to the notice, the weekly Bible study “has caused and continues to cause serious and substantial disturbance with other residents of the community.”
“The owner has received a series of complaints over the past few months regarding your conduct in the community,” part of the notice read.
The owner also learned that you were showing religious films on Sunday evenings, followed by a group discussion about the religious film. This activity resulted in complaints from the owner similar to those related to the Bible study class. . “
The owner said in the notice that the residential business was not threatening the couple with eviction for their Christian beliefs and “asking that you stop practicing your religion.”
Last May, the couple filed a lawsuit against Evergreens and CRC, arguing that management discriminated against them and others on the basis of religion.
In addition to the ban on Bible study, the lawsuit also alleged that the Evergreens prohibited prayer before meals and refused to allow them to call it a “bible study”, but rather a “criticism of. delivered “.
Lea Patterson, associate attorney for First Liberty, said in a statement to the Christian Post last year that “hostility towards religious residents violates federal law and taints Virginia’s long history of religious freedom.”
“We are asking the court to hold the management company accountable for violating the Hauge’s right to exercise faith in their home and to ensure that no other resident has to endure what the Hauge have gone through.” Patterson said at the time.