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Federal aid not available for churches

(ran LA edition of LT)

Churches and some nonprofit organizations devastated by the April 19 bombing will not be eligible for federal aid dollars, officials said.

"We are worried, we are concerned, our hearts go out to the parishioners of those churches," said Richard Krimm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "But specifically, the law draws a line between secular, governmental and purely religious" activities.

Disaster relief funding from the federal government is reserved for local and state governments or nonprofit agencies providing public services such as education or health care, said Krimm, FEMA's associate director of response and recovery.

Laws governing the separation of church and state exclude from funding buildings used mainly for religious activities.

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