When Pastor Florine Newberry of Mattie Richland Baptist Church in rural Pineview, Georgia, realized her congregation wouldn’t be able to meet in the church because of the coronavirus, she "saw the sheep scattering." Now, with the help of technology and an organization providing rural churches with internet access, they have been able to hold online church service and host conference calls via phone.
Some claim that governmental restrictions on worship services are an infringement of religious liberty and a violation of the separation of church and state. Others disagree, noting that such prohibitions do not single out religious gatherings but include all events at which people could become infected with coronavirus. Still, others claim that church services should be classified as “essential” functions and allowed to continue under social distancing guidelines.