The Welsh Government should not be banning church worship during the ‘firebreak’ lockdown, The Christian Institute has said.
In order to limit the spread of coronavirus, a second lockdown was introduced in Wales yesterday, with people banned from visiting or meeting with others they do not live with.
Churches were ordered to close, other than for weddings, civil partnership ceremonies or funerals.
The Institute criticised the “strange” decision to close churches while permitting certain non-essential activities to continue.
Director Colin Hart commented: “Throughout history, God’s people have met together to call on the Lord, especially in times of crisis. Yet meeting in church is currently banned in Wales, the only part of the UK where this is true.
“Some strange priorities have been chosen. For example, you can easily buy alcohol or lottery tickets but the ‘firebreak’ regulations ban worship in churches. So you can drink and gamble, but you cannot worship.”
He continued: “The closure of Welsh churches ignores the fact that gathered worship is fundamental for Christians. It also ignores people’s spiritual needs.
“While charities caring for physical or mental health needs can still operate from church buildings, congregations that use those same buildings are prevented from meeting people’s spiritual needs.
“Sadly, given politicians’ comments, there is every prospect of further lockdowns in the coming weeks. The obvious concern is that churches will be closed again.”
Mr Hart called on Christians to pray for the reopening of churches and for them to remain open during future lockdowns, for Christians to act wisely and honour Christ through the situation, and for those in authority as they make difficult decisions on how to tackle the pandemic.