California Governor Gavin Newsom banned singing and chanting in churches last week in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
What We Know:
- Faith leaders are in outrage following the news. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, singing is proven to be a source in the spread of the virus. The Golden State recorded more than 11,700 new cases on Sunday. California has over 271,000 cases making them second behind New York.
- State health officials released new guidelines stating, “Places of worship must, therefore, discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.”
- A Bethel Music worship leader and pastor in Northern California, Sean Feucht says, “For the last several weeks, tens of thousands of people have been gathering outdoors in cities all across California and they have been screaming and chanting and protesting, and all the while state officials are encouraging them as they do this.” He says this order is an “unprecedented attack”.
- Feucht started a “Let Us Worship” petition that has received at least 5,000 signatures. On Instagram, he posted a photo of him doing “illegal worship” in Iraq in 2016, in North Korea in 2016, and in California on Friday night.
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, a member of the National COVID-19 Recovery Commission says the governor’s order is “completely discriminatory”.
The first known county to ban singing was Mendocino County. They banned singing right before Easter and were only allowed four people to record online services. Newsom announced the plan for reopening in May and only allowed capacity at 25 percent capacity or 100 people.