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January 29, 2013 08:57 AM

Group Challenges Prayer Before SD Council Meetings

rapid city, sd

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked the Rapid City Council to stop the tradition of having a local minister lead a prayer to start council meetings.

The Wisconsin-based nonprofit says it received a complaint from a Rapid City resident who objects to the prayers. But Mayor Sam Kooiker says he's "strongly in favor" of continuing them.

Kooiker notes that the state Legislature and U.S. Congress open sessions with prayer. He says he thinks it's a "time-honored tradition" in Rapid City and has strong community support.

The foundation says it plans lawsuits on the issue across the country but it isn't saying where.

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