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[Waterloo, Iowa brings back council prayer]

February 10, 2016

[ – Waterloo, Iowa]

WATERLOO — Prayer has returned to meetings of the Waterloo City Council.

Mayor Quentin Hart said members of the local religious community will be invited to deliver an invocation during the first regular council meeting of every month, replacing what had been a moment of silence to open meetings….

In 2014, a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld sectarian prayers before government meetings as constitutional, provided they aren’t “coercive,” don’t denigrate other religions and do not require participation by people who do not share the same beliefs.

While the U.S. Congress and Iowa Legislature open sessions with prayers, it remains a relatively uncommon practice during municipal council meetings in Iowa. Among the state’s 10 largest cities, only Cedar Rapids had a prayer at council meetings.

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