Aren't churches and mosques basically public places of worship?

Couldn't a homeless man just claim he is doing an extensive period of praying?

Sorry if this question sounds ignorant or dumb. I'm just curious.

  • Tags on question edited as per meta post
    – jimsug
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


In many countries (for instance, the US), churches and mosques are private property. In general, the owner of private property can throw anyone off their property; claiming you're doing an extensive period of praying doesn't matter, because they are under no obligation to let people stay as long as needed to pray (they can kick someone off the property for just about any reason). If there's a contract in play things are different, but contracts aren't in play in this situation.

That said, nothing stops the church or mosque from letting the homeless stay there; this is actually not that uncommon (charity being a fairly common religious virtue).

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