Edrees Bridges, 49, who has been a volunteer chaplain at a county jail in Upper Marlboro since 2018, learned in April that the county was hiring a paid chaplain. He asked for an application but couldn’t complete it because all applicants were required to sign a “Statement of Applicant’s Christian Faith” that would force him to abandon his religious beliefs as a Muslim, his lawsuit says.
Prison Ministry of America, which also is named as a defendant in the suit, has a contract with the county to provide religious services to jail inmates. The statement on its job application says Prison Ministry of America employees are “committed to a lifestyle of Christianity and agree with our statement of faith.”
It also asks applicants to affirm that they “believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe,” that “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit” and that “the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word.”