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Community comes together to pray for man who filed lawsuit to remove cross from Christmas tree

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KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. – It is not the response that everyone expected, but they say it may be the most fitting reaction for the situation.

Last week, the town of Knightstown took down a cross that sat on top of the city’s Christmas tree after a resident filed a lawsuit.

Records indicate that the resident, Joseph Tompkins, “is forced to come into direct and unwelcome contact” with the cross as he drives through town. Attorneys claim the display has caused him “irreparable harm” that can only be fixed by taking down the cross and paying him monetary damages.

The town council decided to take down the cross because they didn’t think they could win the lawsuit, and couldn’t afford the legal fees.

The battle gained national attention and residents even took it upon themselves to hand out crosses to people who wanted them.

On Sunday, residents who were in support of the cross on top of the tree got together to honor the man behind the lawsuit.

“We had people coming together that probably hadn’t ever talked to each other before. It`s such a wonderful experience to have,” Kevin Richey, organizer of the prayer service, told FOX59.

The group decided to pray for Tompkins and his father, who is battling cancer.

“He fired us up to stand up for our faith, but also to act out in our faith,” said Curt Hunt, pastor at Knightstown United Methodist Church.