DES MOINES, Iowa – “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
At the Iowa Capitol on Tuesday, Dec. 12, approximately 180 Iowa Christians brought the light of worship and prayer to bear on a story making national headlines, as news spread of a temporary display posted in the Capitol Rotunda by the Satanic Temple of Iowa.
Organizers of a regular prayer gathering that has been meeting in the Iowa Capitol every Tuesday for over 30 years called today’s prayer turnout the largest crowd they’ve ever hosted.
Tuesday’s prayer meeting also included placement of a very different scene, a Christmas Nativity, which – like the Satanic display – will be posted in the Capitol for the limited amount of time that Capitol policy allows.
“Many Iowans are upset, and understandably so, over recent news that a group has abused their freedom of speech and religion to put up a Satanist display in the Iowa Capitol,” commented Chuck Hurley, vice president and chief legal counsel for The FAMiLY Leader. “Let me be clear: A person may have the legal right to do something wicked, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for them to do it.
“The good news is this open display of evil, an evil which has always been present at the Capitol and has always been at war with the people of God, has only inspired the people of God to rise up all the more,” he continued. “Since the Scripture reminds us, ‘We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,’ (Ephesians 6:12,18) Iowa Christians are setting up a display of our own in the Capitol – a Christmas nativity celebrating the born King who has defeated Satan and his power. We will celebrate, rather than denigrate, Christmas. And we will join in worship and prayer, fighting the battle where the battle actually lies: ‘in the heavenly places.’”
Watch video from the Iowa Capitol prayer rally below:
Approvals for displays at the Iowa Capitol fall underneath the control of the Iowa Legislature and are managed by the Department of Administrative Services, or DAS. Currently, displays from the public are permitted for two-week periods and are open to anyone through an application process. Though there are some guidelines governing such public displays, those guidelines do not permit the DAS to limit displays on the basis of religion or ideology.