Group Seeks To Halt Prayers At West Virginia Council Meeting

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia city that opens its council meetings with The Lord’s Prayer is being sued by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based group and two of its members filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Charleston against the city of Parkersburg.

The lawsuit claims the City Council violated the First Amendment by endorsing a particular religion when it opens its meetings with the New Testament prayer.

The lawsuit says residents stand at each meeting to recite the prayer with council members. Plaintiffs Daryl Cobranchi and Eric Engle of Parkersburg attended some meetings, remained seated and did not participate in the prayer’s recital.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the prayers.

An attorney for the city of Parkersburg didn’t immediately return a telephone message Tuesday.