In 2008, neighbors complained that Michael Salman was hosting bible studies in his backyard. He was cited by the city of Phoenix.
They say it was a "violation of Phoenix’s zoning, building, fire and safety code". The authorities said that he was considered a "church" if he had more than 12 people together for the bible study. As a church, he lacked the appropriate licensing and zoning requirements and was therefore guilty.
The court ordered:
- sixty days of jail time
- 3 years of probation
- $12,000 fine
- and he’s unable to host more than 12 people in his home.
Salmans’ bible study was private (not open to the public) and didn’t take donations like a church would.
Salman’s situation is another example of how society is becoming less and less tolerant of Christians who practice their faith.
The Salman’s put together a 16 minute video regarding his situation. It is lengthy but he pretty much sums up his situation in the first couple of minutes.