England has prohibited churches from meeting in-person for just under a month as part of a new string of lockdowns to fight COVID-19, Premier Christian News reports.
Many religious leaders were frustrated at the complete lack of clarity given about the guidelines surrounding this ban. This happened even at a press conference given by the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where he seemingly dodged any questions about religious gatherings in general.
According to Premier Christian News, initial guidelines for houses of worship were shared on the UK government’s website following Johnson’s press briefing. The website asserts that “Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:
- To broadcast acts of worship
- Individual prayer
- Formal childcare or where part of a school
- Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
- Other exempted activities such as some support groups"
Reportedly an additional set of religious guidelines will be coming out later this month that will provide more information to church leaders and churchgoers.
Further, John Stevens, the national director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), suggested religious leaders plan for a final church service on November 4th (a Wednesday) before their congregants are banned from meeting together by the English government.
A new wave of lockdowns is being implemented across the United Kingdom as the number of cases, yet again, begin to rise.
According to Public Health England, there have been at least 1,034,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. At the time of this writing, at least 46,717 people have died from the illness.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Daily Fodder, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.