A court in Geneva, Switzerland, declared in a new ruling that bans on religious gatherings as a result of lockdowns are a violation of people's right to worship, CBN News reports.
The ban on freedom of religious gatherings was placed on November 1 to help stop the spread of coronavirus. However, it was lifted on December 3, when the Constitutional Chamber of the Canton of Geneva ruled the state could not prove churches were the cause of coronavirus's spread.
Attorney Steve Adler, who filed the lawsuit, said he did so because the Swiss ban on religious gatherings was one of the most stringent in all of Europe. He also said the ban disproportionately affected religious groups without a shred of evidence they were the cause of the spread.
"Enforcing it is a violation of the right to freedom of religion as protected in the Swiss Constitution and by international human rights standards. It disproportionately targets the activities of religious groups over commercial activities. With multiple religious groups in Geneva voicing their concerns over the disproportionality of the ban, we hope that the authorities will ultimately agree on a solution that protects everyone’s right to practice their religion in line with international law. The suspension of the ban is a welcome step in this direction," He said on the ruling from the Swiss court.
Another attorney with the non-profit Alliance Defending Freedom, Jennifer Lea, also noted on the significance of the ruling, stating "Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and governments seeking to restrict it, carry the burden of proving the restriction is truly necessary and that a less restrictive approach would not work."
However, the lifting of the ban is only temporary until the entire lawsuit plays out, according to ADF. The court will hear the case and then make a final ruling.
Photo courtesy: Marco Pregnolato/Unsplash
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.