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Right now, a group of Wheaton College students is in downtown Chicago, announcing a lawsuit related to a revision in the Millennium Park Rules on August 26th. These new rules limit access to public parks for evangelistic activity. Deciding to sue can be difficult, but in our system, when the government creates rules that restrict speech, this is often the remedy.
Student - Participate - Wheaton - Evangelism - Teams
These student participate in Wheaton Evangelism Teams, a student-led program that intentionally shares the gospel in Chicago on Friday nights. As this interview with the law firm (Mauck & Baker Law) explains, they were stopped from sharing the gospel in the famous Millennium Park.
I love their passion for sharing the gospel— so I wanted you to know more.
Ed - Place
Ed: What happened in the first place?
Mauck & Baker: The circumstance began on December 7, 2018, when two of the four Wheaton College students engaged in street evangelism on the sidewalk between Millennium Park and Michigan Ave. Park staff told them they were not allowed to hand out their literature or preach and the students stopped.
Day - Students - Park - Air - Bean
Later that day, one of the other students showed up at the park and began open air preaching at The Bean. Once again, park staff told the Wheaton student that he was not allowed to preach.
Over the next few months, the Wheaton students continued to attempt to share the gospel at the park. On one occasion, a Park employee told the students that they could not discuss religion at the park.
April - Students - Staff - Student - Rules
This continued until April 5, 2019, when one of the students was approached by park staff while preaching and informed the student of newly enacted rules governing the park and that his evangelism was violating the new rules. Subsequently, the Wheaton students have stopped gathering at the Park altogether.
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