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Many international locations used drive to impose Covid worship restrictions

The change in emphasis could also be because of the disruption of in-person conferences throughout lockdowns.(Photograph: Getty/iStock)

New analysis has discovered that many international locations resorted to some type of drive to make spiritual teams adjust to Covid-19 worship restrictions.

The examine by Pew Analysis checked out 198 international locations and territories worldwide and located that in 1 / 4 of them, governments used bodily drive like arrests and raids.

There have been detentions in at the least 40 international locations or territories, bodily assault in 11 and harm to property, confiscation of things or raids in 10. Deaths have been recorded in three.

In lots of international locations, spiritual teams have been accused of spreading Covid-19. In 18 of them, it was the authorities who linked spiritual teams or gatherings to the unfold of the virus. Throughout 39 international locations – a fifth of all studied – the accusation got here from personal people or teams.

“In Egypt, conspiracy theories blamed the pandemic on the Coptic Orthodox Christian minority, which worldwide Christian observers mentioned exacerbated the discrimination the minority group already confronted,” Pew mentioned.

Elsewhere within the report it mentioned, “In Turkey, an Armenian Orthodox church’s door was set on fireplace, and information stories mentioned the person instructed police that he acted as a result of ‘they [Armenian Christians] introduced the coronavirus’ to Turkey.”

Public well being measures imposed by the authorities to stop the unfold of Covid in the course of the pandemic have been defied by spiritual teams in 69 international locations.

READ MORE Ban on church choirs during Covid was based on ‘flawed’ evidence

One instance cited by the report was the arrest of 15 folks in April 2020 after they attended the funeral of a rabbi in New Jersey regardless of a state stay-at-home order.

As additional proof of discontent, spiritual teams in 54 international locations (27%) criticized government-mandated public well being measures, “typically stating the principles have been a violation of spiritual freedom.”

In 45 international locations (23%), spiritual teams felt that they have been unfairly focused by restrictions on massive gatherings compared with outlets, eating places or different companies.

“In the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, international locations world wide restricted massive gatherings to cut back the unfold of the virus,” Pew mentioned.

“Spiritual occasions, together with in-person worship companies, have been banned in lots of locations.

“In each area of the globe, at the least some spiritual teams protested these rules.”

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