Churches ‘safer than restaurants’

The Equality for Faith petition (Supplied)

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Victorian Government to amend its Roadmap for Reopening so that places of worship are treated equitably and be placed on an equal footing with restaurants. Source: ABC News.

The Equality for Faith petition has gained traction since it was launched two weeks ago and has been supported by religious groups. As of last night, more than 10,000 people had signed the petition. It was sent to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last night, the Equality for Faith website confirms.

Restaurants outside Melbourne’s lockdown zone can operate with 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors — something Fr Marcus Goulding, assistant priest at Bacchus Marsh parish, believes should also apply for churches and places of worship.

Regional churches can hold outdoor services for 10 people or indoor services for one household only.

“We know that we can do this safely,” Fr Goulding told the ABC, adding the issue could be relevant for Melbourne worshippers if lockdown restrictions are eased soon.

Fr Goulding said churches were “safer than being in a restaurant” because services only ran for about an hour, and those inside wore masks.

The petition has been endorsed by several Catholic organisations including the Knights of the Southern Cross, as well as the Victorian Presbyterians and the Greek Orthodox Church, Eternity News reports. The Hindu Council of Australia and the Islamic Council of Victoria have joined other non-Christian religious groups in endorsing it.

This petition joins one signed by 295 leaders of evangelical churches reported by Eternity News last week. Those pastors called for church gatherings to be declared an essential service.

Details: Equality for Faith

FULL STORY

Victorian churches call for lockdown restrictions to be eased (ABC News)

Dear Dan: Ten Thousand sign petition for fair treatment of people of faith (Eternity News)

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