Minnesota Town Approves Request From Church to Be Whites-Only
Image via Erich Rau / EyeEm / Getty
A church in Murdock, Minnesota, has just been granted conditional permission to operate a white-only church in the city.
NBC News cited that the Asatru Folk Assembly - which originated in Northern Europe and only allows white people to practice their religion - had approved permission from Murdock City Council earlier this month. The organization has been labeled a "neo-folkist hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. While it is unclear what went into the council's decision to approve the permit, the church is already being pushed back by the entire congregation, which has now created an online petition with nearly 130,000 signatures to stop operations in the small town of 280 residents to prevent.
"I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we want to keep the pressure on them," said longtime Murdock resident Peter Kennedy. "Racism is not welcome here."
The Hill also noted that the Change.org petition's signatures have increased significantly in signatures since it was created earlier this week. When asked by NBC whether they see themselves as a white supremacist or separatist group, the Asatru People's Assembly denied these claims, saying that they only "respect our own culture".
"We're not. It's just not true," said Allen Turnage, a board member of the People's Assembly. "Just because we respect our own culture doesn't mean we denigrate that of others."
Many people in the community and in neighboring cities have also spoken very loudly on Facebook that they disapprove of the church's permission and plan to fight the decision.
"Just because the city council gave them conditional permission doesn't mean that the city and the people around it won't be vigilant when they watch and protect our area," wrote Jean Lesteberg, who lives in the neighboring city the city's Facebook page.
Following their decision to approve approval for the church, Murdock Mayor Craig Kavanagh said during the meeting that the city "condemns racism," although that decision appears to contradict it.
"As leaders of Murdock City, we want it to be known that the City of Murdock condemns racism in all its forms: consciously, unconsciously, in any place, any time, now and in the future," said Kavanagh.
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