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World Churchgoers in Dutch 'Bible Belt' defy coronavirus instructions

16:50  18 october  2020
16:50  18 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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When the instructions of authorities do not conflict with those of God, they should be obeyed. Apparently, there are modern-day church leaders who are When asked about the possibility of one of his parishioners dying from coronavirus , he told TMZ: ‘The Bible teaches us to be absent from our

Dutch health authorities said Tuesday they are dealing with a measles outbreak in a devout Protestant fishing village where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the country. Ninety-four percent of people in Urk regularly go to church , according to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics, compared

STAPHORST (Reuters) - Hundreds of Dutch worshippers from a deeply conservative branch of Protestantism gathered in churches across the Netherlands on Sunday, defying government instructions to limit indoor groups to 30 to try to contain surging coronavirus infections.

a group of people walking in front of a building: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst © Reuters/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst

Although Dutch churches are exempt on constitutional grounds from the government order, almost all church associations had said they would follow the rules, after massive gatherings in some Protestant churches last week had sparked outrage.

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The Bible Belt ( Dutch : bijbelgordel, biblebelt ) is a strip of land in the Netherlands with the highest concentration of conservative orthodox Calvinist Protestants in the country.

Easter service for Relevant Church in Clover, South Carolina looked a little different this year with the clergy sat in their cars. Worshippers were able to

a person standing in front of a building: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst © Reuters/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst

Reformed Protestant churches in what is known as the Dutch Bible Belt had made it clear they would continue to receive considerably more than 30 faithful at a time, despite the heavy criticism.

a woman walking down the street talking on a cell phone: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst © Reuters/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst

The Bible Belt intersects the Netherlands from the southwest to the northeast and consists mainly of churches of the Reformed Protestant movement, formed in the 19th century, whose adherents also follow a traditional, conservative lifestyle.

The main Reformed Protestant church in Staphorst, in the north of the Netherlands, which can normally accommodate about 2,000 people, said it would allow 150 people per service this Sunday, and they would space themselves at least 3 metres apart.

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Information about the Dutch measures to control the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands. The coronavirus situation in the Netherlands continues to be a significant cause for concern. If we are not careful, we will soon lose all the ground we have gained.

The Dutch monarchy has no formal role in the day-to-day running of the Netherlands. But the Ministry of General Affairs, headed by the prime minister, is responsible for what the monarchy says and does. The daily tally of coronavirus infections continues to grow in the Netherlands.

The church had around 600 people in attendance at each service last Sunday, who wore no face masks and did not refrain from communal singing.

A large church in Barneveld in the centre of the country said it would welcome around 250 people at each of its three services on Sunday.

a person standing in front of a brick building: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst © Reuters/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst

"We have already scaled back our capacity drastically," a church spokesman told national news agency ANP.

"First we limited attendance to 600, then 400, and if the number of infections keeps rising, we will limit it further."

The Netherlands entered another partial lockdown last week, after becoming one of Europe's hotbeds for new infections. Numbers of new infections have reached record levels almost every day since mid-September, with the total number of infections doubling within three weeks.

a woman walking down a street holding an umbrella: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst © Reuters/PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Staphorst

(Reporting by Bart Meijer and Piroschka van de Wouw; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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