Left Menu
Development News Edition

Churchgoers in Dutch 'Bible Belt' defy coronavirus instructions

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.

Reuters | Staphorst | Updated: 18-10-2020 18:51 IST | Created: 18-10-2020 18:51 IST
Churchgoers in Dutch 'Bible Belt' defy coronavirus instructions

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. "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.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Soccer-Tough to lose Hakimi to COVID-19 positive before kickoff - Conte

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte said it was psychologically tough for his side to lose fullback Achraf Hakimi to a positive COVID-19 test four hours before the start of their Champions League game against Borussia Moenchengladbach. Hakimi b...

Trump rape accuser 'stunned' at DOJ no-show at court hearing

A woman who has accused President Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s said she was stunned and speechless after the Justice Department on Wednesday turned down an opportunity to make oral arguments on whether Trump can substitute the Un...

Democrats to boycott Senate panel vote on Trump Supreme Court pick, source says

Democrats will boycott a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee vote scheduled for Thursday on President Donald Trumps nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a Senate Democratic aide said on Wednesday.There are 12 Republicans and 10...

'Good to see you:' Obama stumps in Pennsylvania for Biden campaign

Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday made his first appearance on the campaign trail for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who is locked in a tight race with President Donald Trump in crucial states with just 13 days to go in the campaign...

Give Feedback