Soldier Alleges Military Pattern of Christian Bias

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An atheist soldier suing over prayers at military formations claims a larger pattern of religious discrimination exists in the military.

Spc. Dustin Chalker cites attempts to convert Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and an evangelical bias in a suicide prevention manual.

The expanded lawsuit filed yesterday by Chalker and the Military
Religious Freedom Foundation in U.S. District Court in Kansas City
also claims the military doesn't take complaints of religious
discrimination seriously enough.

A Pentagon spokeswoman says the military has identified fewer
than 50 complaints about alleged violations of religious freedoms
during the past three years, with 1.4 million personnel in uniform.

She has declined to comment on a pending lawsuit but notes that
the military has policies against endorsing any religious view.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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