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Atheist in Iraq Says Army Retaliated

KANSAS CITY, KAN. (CN) - An Army officer disrupted a meeting of non-Christians in Iraq and threatened those attending with prosecution under military law, according to a lawsuit by a solidier, who says he was denied promotion because he refused to participate in Christian prayer at breakfast.

Spec. Jeremy Hall claims the Defense Department and his superior officer, Maj. Freddy Wellborn, harassed him and denied him promotion because he is an atheist and refrained from participating in a Christian prayer at dinner. He claims that while he was on active duty at Camp Speicher, Iraq, Maj. Freddy Wellborn disrupted a meeting of atheists and non-Christians and threatened to prosecute him under military law and prevent him from re-enlisting.

Hall claims that after he was transferred from Iraq to Fort Riley, Kan., he took a photo of a poster posted in a public area on the base that featured Anne Coulter and included "an anti-Islamic statement." He says he sent the photo to news outlets, which reported on it, and that shortly thereafter his superiors informed him that he would not be considered for promotion.

Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation sue on constitutional grounds.

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