Diritto e Religione nelle Società Multiculturali/ Law and Religion in Multicultural Societies/ Derecho y Religión en las Sociedades Multiculturales/ Droit et Religion dans les Sociétés Multiculturelles/ Recht und Religion in Multikulturellen Gesellschaften/ 多元化社会中的法与宗教 / القانون والدين في المجتمعات متعددة الثقافات

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.

Position Papers

Per continuare a celebrare in sicurezza: riordinare l’emergenza

Nella nostra veste di professori e ricercatori di diritto e religione nelle università statali, costituiti nel gruppo di ricerca “DiReSom” – che nel corso di questa pandemia ha attivato il primo portale web internazionale su diritto, religione e coronavirus (www.diresom.net) – sottoponiamo al Governo italiano e alle istituzioni confessionali un secondo contributo alla riflessione circa la possibilità di consentire le celebrazioni dei culti religiosi, nel rispetto delle misura necessarie per prevenire il contagio del virus Sars-Cov-2, causa della malattia Covid-19. Il Dpcm 13 ottobre 2020 ha aggiornato le misure di contenimento del contagio attraverso la posizione sia di regole in senso stretto, sia di alcune raccomandazioni, volte nel loro complesso a prevenire la sospensione di alcuni diritti fondamentali, che ha purtroppo caratterizzato i provvedimenti delle c.d. «Fase 1» e «Fase 2».


Law, Religion and Covid-19 Emergency – Ebook, DiReSoM Papers 1

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 …

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Recent Comments

A case of conflict between religious freedom and the protection of public health

by Linda Fregoli
It is not only pandemic deniers and conspiracy theorists in general who challenge and doubt the measures put in place by governments and health authorities to combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic . There are even some enclaved religious communities that have been drawing attention because of their rebellious behaviour: they are the Hasidic communities in Israel and New York City. The latter is home to a Satmar community that is known to the general public thanks to the television miniseries Unorthodox, which is distributed by the digital streaming platform Netflix

The “Spirit of Assisi” as a tool to face coronavirus emergency

by Luigi Mariano Guzzo
One of the most iconic photos of interreligious dialogue in the time of Covid-19 was published by CNN on March 26, 2020 “Muslim and Jewish paramedics pause to pray together”. Jewish paramedic Avraham Mintz prays facing Jerusalem while Muslim paramedic Zoher Abu Jama prays facing Mecca, each as an individual but together in the same kind of action. In my opinion, this photo represents how religious differences can be overcome and transformed into a possible helpful tool to manage contemporary and global crisis, such this pandemic is. Coronavirus Emergency has indiscriminately crossed national borders, regardless of a people’s religion or culture: but it has also inspired moments of interfaith unity, connecting believers (and non-believers) in the same battle. In this respect, interreligious dialogue seems actually to be a tool to face the Coronavirus Emergency, so much that even Wikipedia has made a page about it, which is constantly being updated.

The Dialogue among States and Religious Groups

by Maria Luisa Lo Giacco
The article is focused on a research in which the DiReSom research group[1] is involved since the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency. The title of the paper is: “The dialogue among states and religious groups” and I’ll examine this topic in three steps; then, I’ll try to imagine how the dialogue could be the method for the future relationships, when states and religions will probably afford other situations of emergency.

Covid-19 between the Chinese patriotic church and the under-ground church in the diocese of Shanghai (China)

by Angela Patrizia Tavani
In this frenetic succession of regulatory provisions in Italy, it seems that in a single stroke Covid 19 has deeply compressed religious freedom, reducing it almost to an abstraction, when the Catholic Church (as well as other religious confessions) and citizens- Catholic faithful have had to observe the provisions of the Italian State, with evident sacrifice of their fundamental rights of religious freedom and freedom of worship, for the benefit of the protection of the right to health and life, a priority in the acute phase of the pandemic.

The communities of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the ‘storm’ of Covid-19

by Enrica Martinelli
During the first lockdown imposed, in March, by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, resistances, or even actual oppositions, were observed in Israel – and in the United States of America – by numerous communities of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who refused to obey government regulations and to follow the instructions of the health authorities.



COVID-19 Vaccines: Resources for Church Leaders

News of the successful development of effective vaccines against COVID-19 has brought much needed
hope, yet the pandemic is far from over. As cases rise and the virus mutates, the pandemic continues to
bring suffering, isolation, financial hardship and death, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable
among us. Yet the crisis has also “revived the sense that we are a global community, all in the same boat,
where one person’s problems are the problems of all” (Encyclical Fratelli Tutti [FT], 32). “With our gaze
fixed on Jesus (cf. Heb 12:2) and with the certainty that His love is operative through the community of His
disciples, we must act all together, in the hope of generating something different and better” (General
Audience, 26 August 2020).

Recent Documents

Don’t follow this example: an Italian bishop celebrates Holy Thursday Mass without respecting measures of hygiene and of security