Communal worship ‘criminalised’ under lockdown, church leaders in England say

Nov 15, 2020 by

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian:

More than 100 Christian leaders have launched a legal challenge against the ban on communal worship in England under lockdown restrictions.

They claim worship has been “criminalised” and the ban has “inflicted a terrible human cost” on congregations for whom collective worship is a core element of their religious life.

The restrictions on public worship, they argue, breach article 9 of the European convention on human rights which protects the right to freedom of religion.

The claim for judicial review by 122 church leaders from different traditions is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, an arm of the conservative evangelical organisation Christian Concern.

[…]  Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican bishop of Rochester, cited “ancient liberties of the church, which have been won through hard struggle over the course of our history. These liberties include freedom of belief, expression and worship. The principle of the freedom of worship needs to be maintained.”

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