Religious groups should be able to spread their faith without having to apply for permission from the government, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear a case from Stratton, Ohio, challenging a village ordinance that requires anyone wishing to engage in door-to-door solicitation or religious proselytizing to register with the city government and fill out a form giving detailed information about their activities.
Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn said the ordinance is too broad.
"People wishing to share their faith with others shouldn't have to ask the government for permission first," Lynn said. "The First Amendment protects the right of religious groups to spread their views."
The challenge to Stratton's law was brought by the Jehovah's Witnesses, a Christian denomination known for its aggressive public outreach. The case is Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York v. Village of Stratton.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.