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Religion Briefs

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Polygamous group challenges ruling

SALT LAKE CITY -- A polygamous sect is asking the Utah Supreme Court to overturn a state court decision that stripped the religious purposes from its communal land trust.

Attorneys for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints argue that making the United Effort Plan Trust secular was a violation of the faith's constitutionally protected religious rights.

Valued at more than $110 million, the trust holds most of the property in Hildale, Utah; Colorado City, Ariz.; and Bountiful, British Columbia -- communities that are homes to FLDS members.

The appeal comes after a year of failed attempts by FLDS members to gain legal standing in 3rd District Court proceedings.

Attorneys: Display is for education

CINCINNATI -- Attorneys for two southern Kentucky counties say their planned courthouse display of the Ten Commandments is for educational and historical purposes.

Their new argument in the 10-year dispute follows a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that McCreary and Pulaski counties had a predominantly religious purpose for the display. However, the court has also ruled that religious materials could be allowed as part of an educational or historical display.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the counties' goal is to promote religion.

Tribe expects sect to leave reservation

FORT HALL, Idaho -- Most members of a religious sect that hoped to set up a permanent base on a tribal reservation in eastern Idaho have a few days to vacate the property.

Shoshone-Bannock tribal leaders say they don't expect problems with members of the Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven meeting the Thursday deadline.

Tribal attorney Mark EchoHawk said sect leaders told tribal officials that they intended to move to another location and would abide by an earlier agreement.

"Make no mistake, if they don't, the tribe is going to be right on top of them. We'll go straight to court," EchoHawk told the Idaho State Journal.

-- Wire reports

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