County commission won't reinstate Christian prayer


HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) -- The Reno County Commission will end its long tradition of offering mostly Christian prayer before its meeting.

Four witnesses asked the commission last week to continue having ministers offering Christian prayer. But the commission declined, ordering County Counselor Joe O'Sullivan to draft a new policy.

Last month, Americans United for Separation of Church and State told officials that a review of commission meetings from December through March found more than 80 percent of the opening prayers invoked the name of Jesus.

The consensus of the board is to seek professionals to offer nonsectarian prayers.

If no minister or other speaker is available, a commissioner would say a prayer or ask for a moment of silence.

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