Clergy in the U.S and Europe, citing their right to religious freedom and arguing churches are safe, are fighting back against COVID-19 restrictions that would impact communal worship.
The Wall Street Journal said the religious leaders are now pushing back harder against restrictions than they did during the first wave of the pandemic.
While protests on communal worship bans in Britain and France have led to religious leaders and government officials negotiating, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has appealed to the Supreme Court in its battle against numerical worship limits, according to the newspaper.
The Brooklyn diocese asked the high court this month to hear its case against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The diocese is challenging an executive order signed that limits church attendance to 10 people in the state’s “red” zones and 25 in “orange” zones.
And a group of Orthodox Jewish organizations in New York petitioned the court challenging the same policy, the Journal noted.
Meanwhile Justice Samuel Alito, in a speech last Thursday, said houses of worship have been treated unfairly compared to other businesses during the pandemic.
Alito warned that the pandemic has sparked “unimaginable” restrictions on civil liberties.
In March, the Catholic Church shut down communal worship in the U.S. – often voluntarily, the Journal said.
But later, as businesses began to open again, bishops in Wisconsin and Minnesota successfully challenged what they said were unfair caps on attendance.
Churches in California filed lawsuits in August against their governor challenging restrictions.
The Journal said religious groups in Europe are also resisting restrictions more this time around than they did in the first wave or the coronavirus.