This 24 May 2020 United States TV video is called Chicago faith leaders split on reopening churches after Trump’s request.
United States President Trump, Brazilian President Bolsonaro and right-wing preachers make a big fuss that churches should reopen.
According to them, having religious services on the internet instead of in jampacked church buildings supposedly violates freedom of religion.
In fact, Trump and Bolsonaro have economic rather than religious motives. They want people to go to unsafe church buildings in order to make it easier to drive them to unsafe factory halls, unsafe distribution centres etc, to work to make billionaires even richer.
The far-right preachers insisting on reopening church buildings have economic motives as well. It is possible to contribute financially to a church through the internet. However, these preachers estimate that having the faithful in COVID-19 contagion prone jampacked church buildings with peer pressure may yield more financial benefits for them. Eg, for buying private planes.
In Germany, churches reopened on 1 May. Shortly afterwards, over 100 people became ill with COVID-19 after a Baptist church service.
In California in the USA, Governor Gavin Newsom ramps up reopening despite serious public health threats. Newsom is accelerating the re-opening of the state, allowing resumption of business for shopping malls, dine-in restaurants, and large gatherings, despite the enormous dangers of COVID-19.
Despite governor’ green light, California synagogues will mostly stay closed.
Trump’s Push To Open Churches Contradicts Jesus’ Teaching To Love Neighbors, Clergy Say. Loving your neighbor means keeping them out of harm’s way, Rev. William Barber said — joining other faith leaders criticizing Trump’s push to reopen churches: here.
Now, translated from Dutch NOS radio today:
Online Church Services More Popular Than Physical Services
The number of people who watch an online church service is often much higher than the number of churchgoers in normal times, according to a study by [Protestant Christian daily] Trouw. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, many churches broadcast their services on Sundays.
Trouw sent a questionnaire to almost 250 congregations and parishes, of which about ninety replied. Some churches have several dozen more church attendants, others hundreds. Protestant digital services are doing particularly well.
An important explanation for its popularity is the accessibility, Mirella Klomp of the Protestant Theological University told the newspaper. “People who do not like to go to church buildings, or who do not come for health reasons, can join easily.”
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