Argentinian pastor reopens church as a bar in lockdown protest

An evangelical Argentinian pastor has reopened his church as “the worship bar” with bar tables and pastors dressed as waiters with Bibles on their trays.

His reason for the mock service? The government is allowing bars and restaurants to reopen after being closed for several weeks due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic but a ban on religious ceremonies still remains in force.

“We are standing here today dressed like this, carrying a tray, because it seems this is the only way we can serve the word of God,” Pastor Daniel Cattaneo posted on a social media on Friday.

“So, apart from the breaded veal headed for table four, here goes the word of God from the house of the Lord to all nations.”

“We want to exercise our constitutional right to practice our faith,” the Argentinian pastor says.

“Bars can open, shops can open, why are they discriminating against us?”

Although the virus is still spreading rapidly in Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires and the surrounding area, Argentina is otherwise COVID-free.

Santa Fe province, which is where the church is located, has been successful at containing the virus and has started reopening activities, including bars.

They are allowed to be open from 7am to 11pm, at up to 30 percent capacity and must keep a register of clients in case any of them later tests positive.

However, no more than 10 people are allowed to attend church services.

Besides avoiding the ban by opening his church as a bar, Cattaneo has announced “drive-in worship” for Sunday worship in an open plot near the church.

A record high of 1,391 new cases was recorded in Argentina on Friday. All but 89 of the new cases are in Buenos Aires. There have been 28,764 cases and 785 deaths in Argentina so far.

Argentina has been more successful in its fight against the virus than Brazil and Chile, which have had around 830,000 cases and 161,000 cases respectively.

Brazil has the world’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll after a further 843 deaths pushed its total to 41,901. The United States has the highest number of deaths, with 116,034 recorded as at 12 June.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , ,