Pastors Urge Cuomo for Guidance on Religious Services

Spectrum News, May 20, 2020

Hundreds of pastors across New York wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking that congregations be allowed to return to church as soon as possible. 

“Out of respect for government authority and concern for the health of their congregants and the general public, thousands of New York churches have temporarily and voluntarily suspended in-person worship services,” the Rev. Jason J. McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms wrote. “The suspension of in-person services has taken a toll on churches, pastors, and Christian believers.”

Right now, churches have been open for virtual services, however, people will not [be] allowed to gather at their places of worship until most likely Phase 4. 

Many religious organizations, including the State Catholic Conference, say there are ways to open sooner by staggering services, cleaning between each one and limiting occupancy. 

Citing their First Amendment rights, 300 pastors wrote this letter to the governor saying that, “they are not looking for permission to reopen, but a public partner who will work with them to prioritize the safe and expeditious re-opening of churches and other houses of worship for in person services.”

“For the safety of our state and the preservation of religious liberty, we ask Gov. Cuomo to partner with those of us in the faith community.”