KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. -- There is no longer a cross on top of the town Christmas tree in Knightstown.
According to a statement released by the Knightstown Town Council, the cross was removed because the town could not win the court case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. The council said they decision was made based on advice from legal counsel.
"It is with regret and sadness that the Knightstown Town Council has had the cross removed from the Christmas tree on the town square and is expected to approve a resolution at the next council meeting stating they will not return the cross to the tree."
The council was also concerned that if they lost the case, the town would have been required to pay the legal fees of the ACLU lawyer and damages to the plaintiff.
The ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of a Knightstown resident who claimed the display of a Latin cross on top of the town Christmas tree violated the separation of church and state.
Dozens of people gathered at the display on Sunday to pray that the city could keep the cross on the tree, and protestors showed up Monday when the cross was removed. They made small wooden crosses and placed them around the base of the tree.
The situation even caught the attention of evangelist, Franklin Graham
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) December 12, 2016
The Christmas tree without the cross will remain on the town square.