PHOENIX (AP) _ A federal judge on Friday blocked a state proclamation to observe Bible Week, calling it unconstitutional.

``On the face of this document, it certainly has the (indication) of being religion and purposely not secular,'' said U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver, who issued a temporary restraining order.

Gov. Jane Hull said her proclamation is not an attempt to mandate a state religion but rather to encourage Christians to study the teachings of their religion. She said she will fight the ruling against Bible Week, which was to begin Sunday.

``The governor has always said the proclamation is constitutional,'' said Francie Noyes, the governor's spokeswoman. ``We will go in and make our case.''

Silver said both sides can come back next month to further argue the case. No new court date was set. Silver is expected at that time to decide whether to issue a permanent injunction.

Eleanor Eisenberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Arizona chapter, praised the ruling.

``In the state of Arizona anyone who chooses on his or her own to read and contemplate the Bible this week is free to do so, but there is no longer any hint of compulsion by the state,'' she said.

The ACLU chapter filed suit Thursday against the governor, contending the proclamation is an unconstitutional offense against non-Christians and nonbelievers.

Noyes said the proclamation was issued at the request of the National Bible Association, a New York-based group that has celebrated the week since 1941.

On Monday, the ACLU persuaded Silver to issue a restraining order preventing the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert from proclaiming its Bible Week.