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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — The volunteer chaplains for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department have been told to leave the name of Jesus out of their prayers at official ceremonies.

The Charlotte Observer reported the change applies to events such a police graduations, memorials and promotions.

Maj. John Diggs says the goal is to be more sensitive to all the religions of the more than 2,000 police employees. Diggs says the policy is not designed to diminish anyone’s Christian beliefs. But he says the police department is not a church.

Diggs says the department will find replacements for any chaplain who has trouble with the policy.

Diggs says the department’s employees include Muslims and Jews. He says all six of the chaplains are Christian.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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