Alabama Police Chief Under Fire from Atheist Activist Group for Using Prayer Walks to Fight Crime

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Alabama Police Chief Under Fire from Atheist Activist Group for Using Prayer Walks to Fight Crime

By Heather Clark |

Roper--300x151BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An Alabama police chief is under fire from a prominent atheist activist organization for conducting prayer walks in his city as a way to fight crime.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letterto Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper to assert that his actions are unconstitutional and offensive to non-Christians.

Roper, an ordained minister, is involved with the initiative Prayer Force United, a coalition between the chief, area churches and local residents to host monthly prayer walks and faith-based gatherings in areas of Birmingham that are most affected by crime.

“We understand that a police cruiser leads these prayer walks with lights flashing, followed by a truck with a sound system that ‘cranks up some gospel music,’” the letter from FFRF outlined. “At the end, a ‘worship team [is] going full bore, just praising Jesus.’ Then the ‘local pastor introduces the police chief,’ and you then give a sermon invoking Jesus several times.”

The group stated in its correspondence to Roper that the organization finds a promotional video of the effort to be inappropriate, as it shows the chief stating that he is “claiming the city of Birmingham for the Kingdom of God” and declaring that the largest problem in the city is a “lack of Godliness.”

“As the chief, I consider myself the chief servant, that’s all just the servant—the servant of Almighty God, the servant of my king, King Jesus. A name that’s higher than every other name and at His name every knee will bow,” Roper is also quoted as proclaiming at one prayer event. “At that name crime will bow. … At that name, homicides are bowing. At the name robbery and thefts and burglary are bowing because that name has all power.”

FFRF contends that Roper’s statements, being made in his official capacity, are unlawful because they promote Christianity and religion over non-religion.

“If you wish to participate in religious events, you must do so as a private citizen, without using your office, title, and badge,” the letter stated. “Prayer Force United’s explicitly stated goals are all religious—your official participation is therefore unconstitutional.”

But Roper told reporters this week that he is not ashamed of his Christian beliefs and is unapologetic for the work that has been done to fight crime in Birmingham.

“Obviously, it’s no secret that I support the prayer walks and many other faith-based community events as one tool in our overall crime-fighting strategy,” he told “We have built strong partnerships with various groups, and I believe they have done a wonderful job committing their assets and assisting us in addressing various issues that affect crime.”

While he has not suggested that he will comply with FFRF’s demands, Roper insists that he is inclusive of all religions in his position as chief.

“We are and will continue to be extremely inclusive, including supporting interfaith events as we have in the past,” he told local television station ABC 3340.


10 Comments on “Alabama Police Chief Under Fire from Atheist Activist Group for Using Prayer Walks to Fight Crime”

  1. They will get over it. What is the group protesting the prayer walks doing to combat crime? Shut up and put up! People want results not bureaucracies.

  2. I think some people are acting as atheïst but infact their haters of Christ.
    If you don’t belief there is a god how come you get angry at someone who does belief there one?

  3. This world is going in such reverseat at hyper speed mode it’s not even funny. 🙁
    Since before I was born people in all forms of law enforcement have actively participated in religious events. As a matter of fact before I was born every American participated in a religious event without thinking twice about it (prayer in schools = more peaceful schools lower dropout rates and almost non existent extreme violence. No prayer in schools = columbine. Get the point?) Anyways, It seems like everytime I look at someform of news outlet /media outlet I’m hearing about someone new being harrassed by these anti Jesus /anti christ minions. Something about the name Jesus doesn’t sit well with people nowadays.There is so much power in that name and they felt threatened because he was invoking the power of Jesus over his city & commanding those demons to flee! Satan doesn’t like it people are busy shooting down his demons with the powerful name of Jesus. Say a quick prayer everyday for these people being “persecuted” for His name sake.

  4. I can’t wait to hear about the crime rate dropping in Birmingham because somebody was able to take a stand , it happened at one of the worst prisons, can’t remember which one, but the warden was saved, when he arrived, the prison crime rate was very low because just like this police chief knows when he’s out on streets it’s a spiritual battle so did the warden , ths why we need saved cops, judges , etc, who know the power of the Holy Ghost!!!! And the time is here when soon there won’t be any Christians in law enforcement , so we better enjoy it now because it’s at tht point where the new guns have chips tht won’t evn go off unless you hve a chip

  5. This is the only strategy that actually works. It doesn’t matter who initiates the prayer. I applaud the chief of police for being so spiritually aware of the fact the the ONLY way to EFFECTIVELY combat darkness is with light! Don’t be intimidated by the enemy trying to get you to back off. If God be for you, who can be against you. The enemy has called in reinforcements, you should too. I will be praying for you!

  6. In an elder’s voice: “Ain’t nobody mad but the devil.” And it shows whenever he uses his people to try and stop what works. Satan don’t want violence to stop. He loves it. And he uses the cowardly disguise of human rights violations to do so.

  7. Of course atheists, homosexuals, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., don’t want Christians praying in the streets, schools, on the Hill in Washington, in the White House, on the news, or anywhere else because at the name of Jesus every knees will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord and using the name above all names, Jesus, leaves the enemy without any defense. He must bow!

  8. Am I missing something ? Christianity is under attack in America and no one is sounding the warning horn ? Where are our religious leaders in suppressing these waves of attacks ? Who has petioned Congress and our political leaders ? What is the ministry doing to alert the body of Christ ? Sound the horn and call on the Commander of the army of the Lord.

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