RAPID CITY - The Rapid City Council has voted to draft a policy regarding prayer after a nonprofit group asked the council to end its practice of beginning meetings with an invocation.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation advocates the separation of church and state and says a compromise would be for the council to hold a moment of silence before meetings rather than a prayer. City leaders say they don't have any plans to change their tradition.

The council on Monday night decided to have staff draft a policy on the matter that would help the city defend itself in court. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has said it plans to become involved in lawsuits on the issue of prayer at public meetings, though it has not said it will sue Rapid City.

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