Christian persecution is rising in the whole world and sadly can be felt here in the United States as well. Students at an Alabama high school are facing opposition from an atheist group regarding complaints about a pre-game prayer.
Anti-faith group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, had complained that Opelika High School in Alabama violated federal law by praying over the loudspeaker before a game. They said that a parent had complained to them saying he wanted “to move their children out of the district.” In response, the district told Opelika leadership that they could only have a “moment of silence” before games.
OCS Superintendent Mark Neighbors said, “We recognize that the United States of America is a nation of laws and we will abide by the current law,” he added, “Our students are allowed to pray, but our coaches are not allowed to participate,” he added, referring to the letter which alleged that coaches were praying with students.
The students responded to the complaint before the Sept. 13 kickoff, by reciting the Lord’s Prayer together out loud. “You’re taking [prayer] away from the majority, so now we’re having to go about it a different way,” student Phoebe Darcey said.
Opelika students in the @OHSdawgpound recite the Lord’s Prayer prior to kickoff tonight pic.twitter.com/5nsS1Ly23D
— OA News Preps (@oanewspreps) September 13, 2019
Trinity United Methodist Church Youth Pastor Steve Bass said the original prayer was not even “overtly Christian.” He said, “It was always, ‘Hey God, please keep our players safe from injury, help the fans and the players to have good sportsmanship, everyone have a good night,’” he said. “It was nothing offensive.”
Public schools have long been persecuted for prayer before sporting events. An Alabama school district stopped saying the Lord’s Prayer before games in 2017. This month, a Georgia high school was also banned from praying before a football game after an atheist group complained.
Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”