COVID-19: Scotland Ministers outlaw public worship; Church leaders take legal action

Christian Legal Centre, a team of 27 Scottish church leaders, are taking up a legal action against the decision of Scottish Ministers to close down churches and make it a criminal offense for Christians to worship in public during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. These church leaders are from various Christian denominations including the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland.

It will be recalled that on January 8, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made restrictions that affected churches. He stated that it is a criminal offense in the topmost level for churches to gather physically. Also, it prevents them from even carrying out a baptism. However, the Scottish Ministers got a notification from church officials imploring them to make churches open again.

In their request, they said that the decision of the government goes against the Scottish Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights law. In addition, they stated that if the churches continue to be closed, it will affect the spiritual and emotional needs in the community and the congregation in particular.

Furthermore, the church leaders admitted that they are aware of the implications of COVID-19 and the efforts the Scottish Government have made to ensure that communities are safe. However, they feel the decision by the Scottish Ministers is inappropriate and it is a breach of freedom of religion.

In their response, the Scottish Ministers said that they were not going against the freedom of religion. They feel they also have the right to monitor and control the secular activities of Churches with the aim of protecting public health. More so, they said that churches must adhere with the secular law and stay closed.

Christian Legal Centre made mention of the fact Scotland have not tried to shut down churches since the 17th century. This was in the period the Presbyterian Church was being persecuted. Presently, church officials are requesting for worship houses in Scotland to stay open so that individuals can attend services without the mindset of being persecuted.

Besides, the church leaders affirmed that physical gathering of churches are the fundamental and vital part of their religion. Without it, there is no church, apparently.

0/Post a Comment/Comments

Previous Post Next Post