Red Cross explains prayer denial at shelter

Friday, August 26, 2016
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

American Red CrossThe Red Cross admits a law enforcement official was asked to stop praying with flood victims at shelters in southern Louisiana.

Captain Clay Higgins, a reserve deputy marshal with Lafayette, Louisiana, went to a Red Cross shelter in the city to pray with those displaced by the flooding. He says he was tossed out.

"Very kindly they came and told me, Captain Higgins, personally we really appreciate you coming to offer prayer, but because we're Red Cross, we can't allow you to do that," reports Higgins.

Red Cross spokeswoman Suzy DeFrancis tells OneNewsNow: "With the police officer, Mr. Higgins, I believe that did happen."

DeFrancis explains that the shelter houses a wide variety of people.

LA flood victims"There's hundreds of people in a shelter of different values and faith," she shares, "and they're sharing a very open space – and we just want them to be able to have their privacy."

She says Officer Higgins would have been given a room where people could have come to him for prayer, if they wanted, but they won't allow people to just go in and start praying.

FOX News' Todd Starnes described Higgins' experience in a column this week – and also told Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio of another instance of religious discrimination at a Red Cross shelter in Albany, Louisiana. He says he heard it from a local pastor who was running a shelter of his own.

"A family showed up and they had been at that other shelter – a Red Cross shelter – and they were told that they could not pray or read their Bibles at their cots," Starnes said. "About three hours later, three more families show up from the same shelter with the same story."

DeFrancis says she can't confirm if that happened or not – but if it did, she says it's against Red Cross policy.

"Crimestoppers" video of Officer Clay Higgins

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