Religion, Law and Covid-19 Emergency
Why this site?
The health emergency caused by the contagious virus SARS-CoV-2 is having many consequences also on religious rules – more broadly for the difficulties raising from the possible contradiction between the respect for the measures taken by civil authorities and religious rules. International law allows for the limitation˝ of the right to religious freedom on the grounds of protection of public health, and we are witnessing a situation of unprecedented restrictions on the global scale. As scholars engaged in the study of the legal regulation of the religious phenomenon, we have wanted to create a space to collect documents, comments and other useful materials related to the emergency, in order to assess the outcomes of the normative choices made by civil and religious authorities.
L’emergenza sanitaria prodotta dal contagioso virus SARS-CoV-2 sta producendo molte conseguenze anche sulle regole religiose, e più in generale sulle difficoltà che nascono in forza della potenziale contraddizione che può determinarsi fra il rispetto delle regole imposte dalle autorità civili e le regole religiose. Le norme internazionali ammettono che la libertà religiosa possa essere ristretta dalla legge per motivi di sanità pubblica, e stiamo assistendo ad un esercizio di restrizione su scala mondiale mai registrato in precedenza. Nella qualità di accademici impegnati nello studio della disciplina giuridica del fenomeno religioso, abbiamo pensato di creare uno spazio di raccolta di documenti, commenti, e altro materiale utile intanto ad affrontare l’emergenza, e in prospettiva a studiare gli esiti delle scelte normative che le istituzioni civili e quelle religiose stanno compiendo.
As scholars engaged in the study of the legal regulation of the religious phenomenon, we decided to create a web space to collect documents, comments and other useful materials related to the Covid-19 emergency, in order to assess the outcomes of the normative decisions made by state and religious authorities. So, on March 8th we …
by Daniela Tarantino
This year’s period of Lent, among the tribulations that have marked it, has also been characterized by the impossibility to participate in the liturgy and the sacraments, making the situation even more difficult for believers.
by Cătălin Raiu
Even if during the actual pandemic all states have imposed general restrictions regarding the conduct of religious activities, Romania is among the few democratic regimes in which the public authorities addressed liturgical recommendations. Fascinated by its despotic power, the state forced itself in the Chalice recommending abstention from the Eucharist. It did not do so for theological reasons, but from lack of democratic culture. Both international and national legislation are extremely precise regarding the regulation of worship: citizens are empowered with religious freedom, a right set at the base of the pyramid which is the rule of law and which is exercised also by taking part in the religious ceremonies conducted according to norms established by the religious organizations, based on their autonomy towards the neutral state from a religious standpoint.
by Stefano Picciaredda
The pandemic has not spared the lands in war, where “worst is yet to come”. For this reason, the General Secretary of the United Nations Organization Antonio Guterres re-launched on April 3rd 2020 his appeal for a global ceasefire, which received support from many religious leaders, including Pope Francis. “There should be only one fight in our world today, our shared battle against Covid 19”, added Guterres. In the appeal of March 23rd he had used similar explicit, direct and effective expressions. He recalled that “the virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith because it attacks all, relentlessly”. Moreover, “women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced pay the highest price”. In summary, therefore, “the fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war”.
State of emergency and religious freedom: constitutional stress in German law (art. 4 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany)
by Stefano Testa Bappenheim
The proliferation and spreading of the Covid-19 epidemic has meant that even in various European states, and not only in Italy, gatherings of people have been prohibited with the issuing of specific rules, which have also included community religious celebrations. This has resulted in a certain friction in various countries with the relative constitutional provisions for the protection of religious freedom. The case of a State that intervenes on religious functions depicts a complex and needy picture of specialists, thus calling into question the comparative ecclesiastical law which again, in the current situations, fulfilled the prophecy that saw it, for “the intermediate position within the juridical disciplines” and “the undeniable historical-political assumptions”, “not as a science in the process of exhaustion, but as a bank of evidence of the most delicate dogmatic problems”
by Cătălin Raiu
According to international standards, states cannot suspend FoRB during war or emergency state. However, religious freedom can be limited as an exceptional measure, to reestablish order and public security, or in the case of an epidemic as an exceptional measure and with the fulfillment of the following terms: 1. to be provided by law 2. to serve purposes of the political body in its whole (protection of security, public order, health, etc.) 3. to be nondiscriminatory in language and application 4. to strictly serve the purpose and announced period.
DiReSoM As professors and researchers of law and religion in Italian public Universities, and as founders of the “Diresom” research group – which during this pandemic activated the first international web portal on Law, Religion and Coronavirus (www.diresom.net) – we are please submitting to the Italian government and to the religious bodies a contribution to …
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Peace be with you!
For several weeks now, we have all been living through something we did not expect and for which we had no time to prepare ourselves, no real precedents to guide us, no previous experience to reassure us. A microscopic virus has thrown the whole world into disarray, including our normal Catholic life.
We want to support you and are very aware that you know the situations within your own
parishes. Therefore, you are well placed to provide the circumstances in which your church can
resume activities within infection control recommendations. In addition, we want to provide an
avenue for you to ask questions and provide feedback about where you would like further
In short, we advise that, at present:
1. cleaning and disinfecting of church buildings must be observed
2. 2m physical distancing must be observed
3. increased hand washing should be observed and hand sanitiser should be available and
4. face coverings must be worn at all times within church buildings (except by the priest
within liturgical services when at least 2m of physical distance is possible.
Towards Re-opening Church Buildings: Covid-19 Risk Assessment Checklist for Parish Churches
This document provides a template risk assessment, with links to the relevant advice notes. It relates to situations where there is limited access to church buildings the purposes of private prayer, livestreaming, construction, carrying out of contractual work, building maintenance and cleaning. This template relates exclusively to Covid-related risks, not general risks. If you would like more information about your responsibilities under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations then information and templates can be found on the HSE website.
A further version of this will be produced when small services such as weddings and funerals are allowed, then for private prayer, then for some form of public worship. At present no public access is permitted to church buildings under government guidance.
Muslims in #SaudiArabia perform Fajr prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque in #Medina for the first time in two months as the country begins to ease its #coronavirus restrictions.
- BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF SCOTLAND – PASTORAL LETTER 5TH JUNE 2020
- Bishops’ Conference of Scotland – Working Group on COVID-19 – Guidance for churches
- ENGLAND COVID-19 – Advice on Individual Prayer by Members of the public in Church Buildings
- Reopening of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina
- State Bar Group Calls for ‘Mandatory’ COVID-19 Vaccinations, Regardless of Objections
- JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND ITALIAN MINISTRY OF INTERIOR: COVID-19 PROTOCOL FOR THE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
- Décret n° 2020-618 du 22 mai 2020 complétant le décret n° 2020-548 du 11 mai 2020 prescrivant les mesures générales nécessaires pour faire face à l’épidémie de covid-19 dans le cadre de l’état d’urgence sanitaire
- France – Décret du 22 mai : reprise des messes et lignes directrices
- Press release on the resumption of religious ceremonies
- UK – New taskforce developing plan to reopen places of worship
- Quadro sinottico relativo ai Protocolli per la ripresa delle celebrazioni delle confessioni diverse dalla cattolica
- Protocolli per le celebrazioni delle confessioni religiose diverse dalla cattolica
- France will be among the last European countries to restore the public celebration of cults
- Labor Office of the Holy See (U.L.S.A) Containment and prevention measures of SARS-COV-2 contagion in all work activities
- Ministry of Interior – Note of 13.05.2020 – Protocol concerning the gradual resumption of celebrations with the people
- Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches – Synod 2020 canceled
- BRAZIL – Coronavirus: how evangelical churches are taking advantage of the crisis to occupy the state vacuum
- EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF CILE – Celebration Of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will not take place in the Town of Tirana: “We are invited to experience the Festival in a different way”