A retired pastor and his wife sued their apartment complex in Fredericksburg, Va., claiming that the management of the facility for seniors banned them from praying before meals or having a Bible study anywhere on the premises.
Ken and Liv Hauge—both in their mid-80s—contend that the Community Realty Company (CRC) and the management at Evergreens at Smith Run enacted the ban on religious activity, threatening eviction if the ban was violated, due to the anti-religious hostility of some residents. While some neighbors at Evergreens requested that the Hauges begin the Bible study, other residents subjected them to harassment and threats. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits religious discrimination in housing practices.
“The management company’s hostility to religious residents violates federal law and taints Virginia’s long history of religious freedom,” said Lea Patterson, associate counsel for First Liberty, which is representing the Hagues. Last October, First Liberty also asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate CRC.
Despite the controversy, Ken Hauge is calm. “For my wife and I, it's sort of like resting in the eye of a hurricane,” he told CBN News. “In the eye of the hurricane, it’s peaceful and quiet, just don’t get up against the walls.” —Steve West