NEW YORK - The city will once again be able to ban churches from holding religious services in schools and other public community spaces.  

A federal appeals court has overturned a 2012 decision allowing the controversial practice. 

It all began two decades ago when the Bronx Household of Faith challenged a Department of Education ban so that it could hold services in a University Heights public school during off hours. 

Local religious leaders call the ruling reversal disappointing, and say it discriminates against the religious community's right to worship. Many plan to rally on the steps of City Hall in hopes that Mayor Bill de Blasio will take up the issue in their favor. 

The ruling was handed down by the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals, and it upholds former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's policy on prohibiting churches from holding religious services in public schools and community centers.