Group asks West Virginia council to stop prayers at meetings

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WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - A Wisconsin-based advocacy group has issued a complaint about a West Virginia city council's practice of opening meetings with predominantly Christian prayers.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation asked the Wheeling City Council to stop the practice in a Jan. 9 letter addressed to Mayor Glenn Elliott from the group's attorney, Brenda Johnson.

The Wheeling News-Register reports the organization was alerted to the practice by a citizen who reported that a resident had twice complained during meetings, and prayer was offered anyway.

The letter cited a similar North Carolina case in which a court ruled the council was violating the First Amendment with the prayers.

Elliott hasn't publicly commented.