Written by Don Byrd

After 8 months of delay, a meditation center in Lake County, Illinois can finally open, now that county officials have finally determined Maum Meditation is indeed a religion. The zoning board previously denied Erik Sung’s request to turn his home into a meditation center, claiming the “elements of religion” were not met. A federal lawsuit seems to have helped change their mind.

Two weeks after the lawsuit was filed, Lake County Department of Planning, Building and Development sent a letter stating that they would consider it a religious institution, [Sung’s attorney Jeff] Schwab said.

The lawsuit claims that the county asked neighbors to keep track of who was coming and going from the home, to take pictures of cars and license plates, and call a hotline with any complaints, according to court records.

But county officials say this is untrue.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times story, Maum Meditation originated in South Korea in 1996 and now is practiced in hundreds of centers around the world.