News by email Donate


Twitter/ First Liberty
World News

Christian couple threatened with eviction because Bible study deemed a 'business'

by Eno Adeogun

Ken Hauge, a part-time pastor, and his wife, Liv, applied to use the community space in Evergreens at Smith Run, which is a senior living community in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Members of their local church meet for services in a nearby shopping centre.

The group was only permitted to use the space as long as it didn't refer to the meeting as a "Bible study." Instead, it was instructed to call it a "book review" club.


After an issue with scheduling, which led to another resident volunteering to host the Bible study in her apartment, the residential complex finally agreed for its space to be used by the group and described as a Bible study.
However, following complaints by other residents, the apartment complex implemented a zero-tolerance policy over any Bible studies, and sent letters to residents stating the faith-based meetings weren't permitted in the community space.

In an alleged second letter, sent directly to the Hauges, the couple in their 80s were told that they were prohibited from holding a Bible study even in the privacy of their own apartment as it would constitute as a "business" in a space only meant for residential use.


First Liberty, a faith-based law firm which specialises in cases related to religious freedom, sent a letter to the lawyers representing the residential complex to challenge the legality of their rule.

"Evicting elderly residents from their home for holding a Bible study is not only outrageous, it's illegal," Lea Patterson, associate counsel for First Liberty, said in a press release.

"It's frightening that a management company would use the threat of eviction to stop residents from meeting together to discuss any issue, let alone their faith."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email