Stop a Michigan community from bullying Christian family!
A family in Michigan is being bullies by their local community for practicing and expressing their faith.
The Samona family came to the United States from Iraq to escape religious persecution. Now, they face fines or legal action because they want to express their faith in the courtyard of their home in Novi, Michigan.
The Samonas are devout Catholics who are described by neighbors as very devoted and committed to their local community.
Yet, their world was turned upside down, last week, when they received a letter from their neighborhood’s homeowners’ association (HOA), Tollgate Woods Homeowners Association, threatening fines or legal action if they failed to remove a tiny statue of Virgin Mary in their front yard.
The statue of the Virgin Mary, as seen in the picture above, is the size of a small garden flag one can display to show support for their favorite football team.
"There is no doubt in my mind that this is an attack on our religion," said Joseph Samona, who lives in the home with his parents, during an interview with the Detroit Free Press.
The Samona family intends to fight this tooth and nail because the statue has significant importance to the family’s faith. Each morning, members of the Samona family pray before the statue.
HOAs can place fines on properties for violating rules or bylaws, and if fines go unpaid during a dispute, the HOA can place a lien against the home.
The letter states that the statue of the Virgin Mary violates HOA bylaws but does not cite the specific section. When local media tried to reach out to Debbie Laudermilch, the president of Tollgate Woods HOA, they did not get a response.
According to Novi spokeswoman Sheryl Walsh, there is no local ordinance prohibiting a statue of a religious nature.
“If the homeowners association came to the city asking for support, the city would not be able to do that because this rule is not a city ordinance,” she said.
The Samona family shouldn’t have to fight this injustice alone.
Please sign our petition to Debbie Laudermilch of the Tollgate Woods HOA and their management company to ask that the HOA withdraw their complaint against the Samona family.
Christians and others of faith should be able to practice their religion, peacefully and respectably, on their own private property without interference or threats of any kind.