BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (WCCO)— The small town of Belle Plaine was the site of a large, prayer-filled protest on Saturday, as more than 100 people showed up to speak out against a Satanic monument.READ MORE: Sean McClernon Identified As Driver Killed In Fiery Crash At I-35W & Lake Street Station
This all stems from another statue of a soldier praying over a grave marked with a cross that was in the park’s designated “Free Speech Zone.”
The city created the section in Veterans Memorial Park after a religious freedom group threatened to sue over the statue featuring the cross.
That statue was removed from the park ahead of the protests, according to a Facebook post.
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“It shows respect for that fallen soldier that died serving our country,” said T.C. Fogarty, a Vietnam veteran who came to participate in the prayer.
Representatives from Minnesota’s Left Hand Path, a group that includes Satanists, sat alongside folks praying the rosary to support the installation of the statue, and what it represents to them: freedom.
“Now, all faiths will have a voice in the city of Belle Plaine and the state of Minnesota,” said Koren Walsh of Minnesota Left Hand Path.
The Satanic monument is complete, but has yet to be installed.
As the debate over the statue wages on, the future of the “free speech” area of the park is unclear.MORE NEWS: St. Paul Mayor: City Employees Must Get COVID Vaccine By End Of 2021
City council members will discuss a resolution that would eliminate the area entirely over vandalism and safety concerns on Monday.