ATHENS - Thousands have rallied on an East Texas courthouse lawn in response to an effort to remove a nativity scene.
The Athens Daily Review estimated that about 5,000 people came to Saturday's rally, which a Baptist pastor told the crowd was prompted by "the beginning of persecution of Christianity in our nation."
Henderson County officials this month received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The group asked that a nativity scene be removed from the courthouse square and seeks to put up its own banner. County Judge Richard Sanders says the county is complying with federal law and the nativity scene will remain.
Four pastors who organized Saturday's rally spoke during the hour-long event.