Nativity scene won’t be moving back to Iowa courthouse lawn

Iowa News

This Dec. 10, 2019, photo shows a relocated nativity scene in Centerville, Iowa. Many residents of the small southern Iowa city have been angered by a decision to move a nativity scene from the courthouse lawn to outside a nearby church. They are demanding officials return the display to the lawn, but a national atheist group says if the nativity is moved back they will demand equal access for atheists, Satanists, wiccans and other faiths. (Kyle Ocker/The Daily Iowegian via AP)

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) – A Nativity scene removed from a county courthouse lawn in southern Iowa won’t be returning.

The scene was erected Nov. 18 outside the Appanoose County Courthouse in Centerville, but some residents complained that a religious display shouldn’t be placed on government property. It was moved away Dec. 9.

Other residents soon called for its return. The county owns the building and the land underneath; the city owns the lawn.

The Daily Iowegian reports that City Administrator Jason Fraser said at Monday’s council meeting that the Nativity scene location was just an agenda discussion item, so the council couldn’t vote on the issue.

This Dec. 10, 2019, photo shows a relocated nativity scene in Centerville, Iowa. Many residents of the small southern Iowa city have been angered by a decision to move a nativity scene from the courthouse lawn to outside a nearby church. They are demanding officials return the display to the lawn, but a national atheist group says if the nativity is moved back they will demand equal access for atheists, Satanists, wiccans and other faiths. (Kyle Ocker/The Daily Iowegian via AP)

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