A new group of Prince Rupert worshipers are launching a campaign to protest Northern Health’s recent ban on in-person religious services.
The group named ReopenWorship.org is calling for small groups of less than ten to meet in private homes for worship gatherings, while churches and temples are closed to in-person services under provincial law. health.
âAt this point in the pandemic, it is right that faith communities speak out and call on the government to respect our rights. We all worked together by following the rules and limiting the spread of COVID-19, âthe organization said on its website.
âWith most events and public gatherings opening and immunization rates improving, people can end isolation and find themselves. But places of worship are closed for worship services. Communities of faith should be treated fairly and not be singled out, âsaid ReopenWorship.org.
The ban on worship was enacted on November 30 with new ordinances in the Northern Health Region and is not a province-wide health ordinance. The new orders were initiated by the Northern Health Authority public health officer. Worship bans in a few areas of Fraser Health are also in effect.
âNorthern Health’s rules allow all kinds of public activity indoors, but not in-person worship in a church, temple or other place of worship. What is allowed includes eating in restaurants and pubs, attending plays, concerts and movies, attending hockey and other sporting events and shopping, âsaid the homepage of the groups website.
âChurches and other faith communities are being singled out, and this harms faith communities by isolating believers and unfairly limiting the practice of our faiths. Fortunately, people can still pray together in their homes – inviting up to ten other people to join them for a worship gathering at home.
âIn-person worship is important to Prince Rupert’s spiritual life. We each have the right to come together and practice our faith in places of worship. Worship strengthens communities and is vital to them. Reopens the cult of Prince Rupert, âthe organization said on its website.
Tom Kertes, the organizer of ReopenWorship.org, said he will host an in-person worship service at his private residence on December 12, 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with live services from St. Paul’s. Prince Rupert Lutheran Church. There will be a limit of ten guests plus occupants of the house.
Contact tracing information will be collected, guests must wear masks and be fully immunized, Kertes said.
The Northern View reached out to Northern Health for comment which was not available at the time of publication.
KJ Millar | Journalist
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