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Va. Jews decry allowing Jesus in public prayer

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Virginia Jews urged the state’s governor to reconsider a policy of keeping Jesus out of public police prayers.

The state police superintendent introduced the policy in 2008 after a Virginia court ruled that city councillors may not pray "in Jesus’ name" during official proceedings.

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell lifted the ban last week following a lobbying effort by Conservative groups.

In an April 27 letter urging the governor to reconsider the decision, the four umbrella bodies for Virginia’s Jewish communities told McDonnell that the order "leads us toward unnecessary religious clashes, demeans our Commonwealth’s Jeffersonian principles, and creates an unwelcoming environment for the Commonwealth’s Jewish citizens and other religious minorities."

Efforts in the legislature to overturn the ban had been unsuccessful.

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