According to NBC News, a small town in Minnesota has approved a permit to create a “white-only” church. The Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota, will open to whites only as it practices its pre-Christian religion, whose roots can be traced back to northern Europe.
While the city council approved the permit, residents of the town have pushed back against the church’s creation and gathered 50,000 signatures online expressing their collective dismay over the church trying to make its home in the 280 resident farming town.
The Southern Poverty Law Center characterized the Asatru Folk Assembly as a “neo-Volkisch hate group” that conveys “their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity.”
Murdock city council members said they didn’t agree with the church and the group’s views, but were legally obligated to permit the Asatru Folk Assembly. “We were highly advised by our attorney to pass this permit for legal reasons to protect the First Amendment rights,” Mayor Craig Kavanagh said. “We knew that if this was going to be denied, we were going to have a legal battle on our hands that could be pretty expensive.”