A town in Minnesota is facing backlash after a permit was approved for a “whites-only” church.
The church has been identified as Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota. The town has a population of just 280.
But locals are not happy.
Disputants have collected about 50,000 signatures on an online petition to stop the all-white church.
“I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we’d like to keep the pressure on them,” said Peter Kennedy, a longtime Murdock resident told NBC News. “Racism is not welcome here.”
The church denies its policy is racist:
“We’re not. It’s just simply not true,” said Allen Turnage, a folk assembly board member. “Just because we respect our own culture, that doesn’t mean we are denigrating someone else’s.”
“We do not need salvation. All we need is freedom to face our destiny with courage and honor,” the group posted on its website of their beliefs. “We honor the Gods under the names given to them by our Germanic/Norse ancestors.”