Disciples Of Christ Cancels 2017 Convention In Protest Of Religious Freedom Law

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April 1, 2015 4:55 p.m.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has decided to move its 2017 convention out of Indianapolis in protest of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signing the much-criticized religious freedom bill into law last week.

Before he signed the law last week, the Church said it opposed the legislation. On Tuesday, the Church’s board voted unanimously to relocate the convention.

“As a Christian church, we affirm and support religious freedom. It is, in fact, a core principle for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We are strongly committed to an inclusive community —just as Jesus welcomed all to the Table,” Christian Church President Sharon Watkins said in a statement on Wednesday. “As a result, our church is very diverse: including both conservative/traditional and liberal/progressive persons. All are welcome. We want them to be welcome at our assemblies.”

Officials for the Church said they had expected about 8,000 people to go to the convention in 2017, according to The Indianapolis Star. Officials expected to bring in about $5.9 million.

Several conventions and businesses have threatened to relocate out of Indiana in protest of the law but the Church is the first to actually do it. The Indiana tabletop convention Gen Con also warned that it would move its convention out of Indianapolis if Pence signed the law but its contract with the city isn’t up until 2020.

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