A religious group is seeking a permit to establish a church exclusive to white people.
The Asatru Folk Assembly is a religious group that practices “a pre-Christian, European spirituality” and accepts only white people with northern European heritage.
Due to the group’s controversial comments and rules, the AFA has been accused of white supremacy even though its members don’t consider themselves racist.
Now, the group is seeking a permit to start holding exclusive, whites-only services at an abandoned Lutheran church that they bought over the summer.
The church in question is located in Murdock, a small Minnesota town that is home to just under 300 people of whom the majority are white.
Since the building is located in a residential area, the AFA now seek a permit that would allow them to hold gatherings in the church that they aim to make a base of their operations for the Midwest area.
With just around 20 members in Minnesota, however, the AFA is facing pressure from all sides including Murdock residents of whom the majority object to the establishment of a whites-only church in the town.
On Wednesday, some fifty locals gathered at a city council meeting whereas the majority of them expressed their opposition to the group’s permit request.
“We don’t want to be known as the hate capital of Minnesota,” one resident, Pete Kennedy, told the Minnesota Star Tribune.
As Kennedy added in an interview with NBC, “these kinds of things get a life of their own. ‘Hey this group was allowed into Murdock’ and then everyone else piles on. We want to nip this in the bud.”
While the majority of residents appear to be against the AFA’s request, Allen Turnage, a lawyer and the group’s board member, insisted they were not racist as he claimed this was their way of practicing their religion.
“We don’t hate anybody. This is our religion. It’s our way of practicing our religion,” Turnage said at the meeting.
“A hundred thousand years from now, I want there to be blond hair and blue eyes. I don’t have to be a German shepherd supremacist to want there to be German shepherds.”
On their website, the AFA state that they support “strong, healthy white family relationships” and encourage their children “to grow up to be mothers and fathers to white children of their own.”
“We believe that those activities and behaviors supportive of the white family should be encouraged while those activities and behaviors destructive of the white family are to be discouraged,” the site reads.