Ministers and Volunteers Threatened with Jail Time

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from Liberty Institute,

Isaiah 61 Ministries has been serving the homeless, the poor and elderly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for more than five years. Now, heading into the holiday season, local government officials are prohibiting the ministers and volunteers of Isaiah 61 from ministering to and serving those most in need.

Isaiah 61 Ministries is a well-established, nonprofit Christian ministry with volunteers from various denominations “striving to show those less fortunate that they are loved and not forgotten.” Every week, for the last five years, ministry volunteers have provided meals, toiletries, clothing and other forms of assistance to the homeless, poor and elderly in Harrisburg.

Recently, government officials for Dauphin County, PA, issued a directive to Isaiah 61 and several other ministries, prohibiting them from engaging in their ministerial work, even thought the groups conduct their ministry activities on public property.

The issue escalated to the point that the commission actually threatened to arrest ministry workers and volunteers if they continue to serve.

“Serving the homeless, the poor and elderly is a central tenet of the Christian faith,” said Jeremy Dys, Liberty Institute attorney. “Those who exercise their faith by caring for the poor on the streets of Harrisburg ought to be applauded for their kindness, not threatened with jail time.”

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