CommunityPam's House Blend

Even seniors can't escape the bible beaters

Come the f*ck on. You cannot even grow old in peace. Residents of a public seniors housing complex were forced to hide in bathrooms to escape the proselytizing evangelicals among them.

Residents of a Westmont public housing complex for seniors said in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that they were coerced and harassed by management into practicing Christianity and pressured to attend Bible study classes.

Five former and current residents of the complex, along with housing advocate Hope Fair Housing, are suing the complex and its property manager, saying they used “coercive, harassing and restrictive rules and regulations to impose their ‘Christian’ beliefs upon current residents.” Hope Fair Housing, based in Wheaton, also alleges the complex only invites low-income Chinese tenants and discriminates against any other potential residents.

…Elderly non-Christian residents of the 60-unit complex said they live in a “religiously hostile and intimidating environment,” where they are barred from using common rooms for anything non-Christian, including card playing, according to the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs Shen Tong Bea Tu, 87, and Yue Ru Lee, 86, who are non-Christian, say they hid in their apartment bathrooms with the lights off every Wednesday so they wouldn’t be forced to attend Bible classes. Other tenants claim in the lawsuit that Yuan visited them individually and demanded they kneel down with her and pray after she learned they had played Mah Jongg, a Chinese game similar to dominoes, in the building.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding