published Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Alabama school superintendent defends 'prayer caravan'

CULLMAN, Ala. — Cullman County's school superintendent says he's not afraid of opposition to a religious event he is sponsoring at county schools.

Billy Coleman held a news conference Tuesday to discuss the controversy over a "prayer caravan" that's planned at county schools on Aug. 10. Christians will gather on campuses to pray for the school year.

Coleman is a Christian evangelist, and he says he's organizing the event at schools as a private citizen, not as the county superintendent. He says he even took a day off from work to discuss the caravan.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion organization opposes the prayer caravan, calling it an illegal attempt by the school system to promote Christianity.

Coleman says private citizens are just acting on their own religious beliefs.

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