Church limit rejected – Portland reverses attendance cap

Portland’s city council voted unanimously to overturn an attendance cap on a Methodist church that limited the number of participants who could attend worship and homeless services, the Associated Press reports.

The attendance limit of 70 — imposed after neighbors complained that some participants in church services were menacing and rude — sparked debate about government interference in religion, AP says.

City Commissioner Charlie Hales called the cap, which was easily overturned, a “dumb mistake.”

A new agreement between the church and neighborhood residents calls for the church to enforce zero tolerance for disruptive behavior and increase volunteer patrols of the neighborhood during services.

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