Click this link, Associated Press article about churches feeding the homeless
Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the Nashville-based First Amendment Center, said such spats have become quite common across the country since Congress passed the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act in 2000.
The law gives religious groups a high level of protection in zoning cases and forces cities to show there’s a compelling reason, such as public safety, to restrict them.
And “churches are winning more than they’re losing,” Haynes said. “The law has teeth … It’s a big mistake for local officials to try to limit the ministry of religious groups.”