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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Church bells constitutional

A federal court ruled that a Phoenix ordinance limiting the sound of church bells is an unconstitutional impingement on religious expression.

In 2007, neighbors complained that Christ the King Cathedral's electronic bells — rung every hour, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — violated the city's noise ordinance.

A state court limited the chiming to Sundays and designated holidays, and limited the noise level.

In April, a federal court ruled in favor of the church, saying the city can't prohibit "sound generated in the course of religious expression."


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