11/10/2006UK: Parking Tickets for Parishioners on Sunday
London borough council claims it will charge Christians for church parking out of fairness to Muslims.
Meter maids in the London, UK borough of Plymouth will begin going after parishioners as council officials declare an end to free parking near churches on Sunday morning for reasons of "tolerance." Church goers will now pay £1.40 (US $2.68) for the privilege of praying, generating £36,000 (US $70,000) in annual revenue -- not counting many thousands more raised from parking tickets.
Plymouth officials say they will begin charging Christians to park because Muslims go to mosques on Fridays. Muslim and other non-Christian sects represent 1.3 percent of the local population.
The British National Party responded by suggesting that if fairness were truly the council's motive, instead of charging the borough's 176,400 Christians on Sunday it should exempt the 833 Muslims in the area from parking charges on Friday.