Bill would make it a crime to disturb church services

| March 25, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — People who disturb worship services with curse words or rude actions could land in jail under legislation endorsed by the Missouri Senate.

The bill given initial approval yesterday would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a "house of worship" with profane language, rude or indecent behavior or noise that breaks the solemnity of the service. The crime would be punishable by as long as six months in jail and a $500 fine, with repeat offenders facing increasingly harsher penalties.

Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer said he sponsored the legislation because there have been isolated incidents around the country of people disturbing worship services, though he did not cite any particular examples.

"It's something that you wouldn't think you'd have to come forth with," said Mayer, R-Dexter. "But we're getting some protests at mosques and synagogues and churches and even outside the church buildings on the actual church property.

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Category: Church Security

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