The publisher of the Bible and a major publisher of Christian art have been forced to pay millions to black churches after the publishing giant failed to pay royalties for the Bible.
The Christian Publishing House of America was ordered to compensate the Blackstone Institute for failing to pay the royalties for a Bible, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said on Tuesday.
The case was filed in federal court in New York in the case of the First Baptist Church of St. Louis and the St. James Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was first reported by The Associated Press.
The SPLC said it was a victory for a Christian church that had been targeted for being part of a $25 million-a-year contract with Blackstone.
The lawsuit claimed the contract was a result of Blackstone’s financial dealings with the church.
The settlement is part of the $4 billion settlement reached by the U.S. Justice Department and the New York State Attorney General’s office in July that includes a $3.5 billion payout for the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Justice Department, which led the lawsuit, had threatened to seek civil penalties if the church didn’t pay the $50,000 per month royalty payment.
In a statement to the AP, Blackstone said it had been the victim of a predatory publisher who targeted churches to be part of its $25 billion contract with a Christian publishing house.
It said the settlement provides an important step toward preventing future such incidents.
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