Minneapolis, Minnesota — September 30, 2020. Today, the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) secured client Michael Steiner’s freedom to hand out literature about his faith in public parks in the Minneapolis area.
Steiner is a Christian who wants to share God’s love with others publicly. On July 11, 2020, he and a friend went to French Regional Park, a public park, to hand out literature bearing a Gospel message along with free bottled water, hoping to spark friendly conversations about his faith. Sitting at an open picnic table next to a pathway, Steiner shared his faith in this way for a short while without causing disruption or any problems. Still, a park administrator soon approached Steiner and demanded he cease handing out literature, labelling his evangelistic ministry as prohibited “solicitation.” Steiner assured the administrator they weren’t selling anything, but the administrator was resolute and instructed him to cease to avoid a criminal citation. Having lost his purpose for being there, Steiner stopped, and soon left the park.
Steiner contacted CRE about the incident and CRE sent an informational letter to the park’s administration, explaining Steiner’s constitutional right to hand out religious literature in a public park. The letter asked the park’s administration to let Steiner hand out literature in the park in the future. Thankfully, the park’s administration acquiesced and acknowledged Steiner’s rights, assuring that park officials would no longer treat his religious expression like restricted “solicitation.”
“We are glad the park’s administration changed course, ensuring Mr. Steiner of his right to share the Gospel,” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “In public parks, free speech should be free.”
Center for Religious Expression is a servant-oriented, non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian legal organization dedicated to the glory of God and the religious freedom of His people. For more information, visit http://www.crelaw.org.