France’s top court strikes down Macron’s ban on religious gatherings

May 22, 2020 by

by Samuel Smith, Christian Post:

France’s supreme court for administrative justice has ruled that the government’s absolute ban on religious gatherings in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19 is unlawful and ordered the government to relax restrictions on religious worship.

In a ruling Monday, the French Council of State reasoned that “the general and absolute prohibition [on religious gatherings] is disproportionate” when the government has allowed gatherings of fewer than 10 people for secular instances.

According to France 24, the ruling gives the Macron government eight days to lift the outright ban on worship gatherings.

France’s current policy bans all gatherings in places of worship except for funerals, which are limited to just 20 people. The government had previously indicated that religious services would be banned until June 2.

The Council of State ruled the government’s policy “constitutes a serious and manifest violation of the freedom of worship.”

It is unclear what kind of policy will be enacted as a response to the ruling. But BBC reports that a judge ordered that all private gatherings of up to 10 people to be allowed.

The council’s ruling followed complaints from several organizations and individuals.

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