Plans to build a natural gas pipeline in Lancaster County Pennsylvania have been met by resistance from an unlikely group--nuns. The group of nuns called Adorers of The Blood of Christ have teamed up with a local Environmental Group to stop the pipeline from passing through their land.

The proposed pipeline had been slated to pass through a piece of land belonging to the nuns and houses a convent, a nursing home and a field of corn.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), gave the pipeline project the green light in February and a federal judge then gave the commission approval to possess the land belonging to the nuns, through a temporary order on August 23rd.

Religious freedom

In a suit filed against FERC and the drilling company, the nuns complained the pipeline was a huge burden that they could not bear, while the proposed drilling was against the teachings of their religion as it brought about the destruction of the land.

The nuns also claimed that Bible teachings clearly stated that they have a role to play in protecting the environment against degradation and other risk factors.

In their objection to the pipeline, the nuns further claimed that it was not necessary to build a new one, as the existing pipeline already moved enough gas.

FERC position

In a swift rejoinder, FERC through a statement to NBC News said the current pipeline was outdated, as it was built in the 1950's and could not handle the volumes required in 2017.

Through the law firm Williams and partners, the FERC statement added that the pipeline was of national importance which means it trumps private rights. Williams also argued that the construction of the pipeline will create 2,300 new jobs, and move natural gas faster.

When the federal court made a ruling on the matter earlier, Judge Jeffrey Schmeil had said that the nuns did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that possession of their land would in any way curtail their freedom of religion.

The proposed pipeline will be 200 miles long and is set to cost a billion dollars.

The new suit is still pending at the US District Court in Reading.

Protesting nuns

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ nuns are not new to protests and have constantly voiced their support for various women issues, ranging from immigration to the environment.

In 1992, Five of the nuns were murdered in Liberia while carrying out missionary work, and most recently, they supported locals protesting against the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Brazil.