The soon-to-open Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky will need from 300 to 400 employees before it welcomes the public in July, but in order to be considered, an applicant has to be a Christian.
"We are a religious group and we make no apology about that, and (federal law) allows us that," said Ken Ham, founder of the ministry Answers in Genesis, as quoted by Fox News. "We're requiring them to be Christians, that's the bottom line."
U.S. District Judge Greg Van Tatenhove ruled in January that Answers in Genesis can include religious affiliation as a requirement for those seeking employment in the theme park based on an exemption to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This is despite the organization seeking around $18 million in tourism sales tax rebate.
It is expected that Ark Encounter will open jobs for ticketing, food service, warehouse workers, Web developers, among other positions within the theme park. Employees will be required to sign a statement showing that they "profess Christ as their savior" and that they are Christian.
Raw Story says that aside from a salvation testimony, applicants also have to submit a "creation belief statement," and they need to sign a confirmation that they agree to Answers in Genesis' Statement of Faith. This includes, among other things: "Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ," and "The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six  consecutive twenty-four  hour days of creation."
Many scientists and educators are reportedly not happy with Answers in Genesis promoting the literal reading of the Bible. According to Fox News, the organization, which also owns the Creation Museum, preaches that Adam and Eve lived at the time of dinosaurs, and that the Earth is 6,000 years old.
The life-size replica of Noah's Ark, Fox 5 reports, will be open to the public for 40 days and 40 nights when it opens on July 7, reminiscent of the Bible's account of the 40-day/40-night rain that wiped the Earth clean.
"We are so excited that the construction progress and schedule landed on this 7/7 date. Genesis 7:7 states that Noah and his family entered the Ark. So it's fitting we allow the public to enter the life-size Ark on 7/7," Ham said.
The organization expects to run their normal operating hours on Aug. 15. However, this might change depending on how big the number of visitors is.