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

Uganda COVID-19 response: Was off to a good start but reopening dwindled prospects

Uganda has shown success in using health information to enhance efficiency of disease surveillance, reporting and monitoring. The success, however, has critical challenges confronting it as the country resumes normal activities....

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. ...

Videos

Latest News

8 killed, over 120 injured in bomb blast at religious seminary in northwest Pakistan

A powerful blast ripped through a religious seminary in northwest Pakistans Peshawar city on Tuesday, killing at least eight people, mostly students, and wounding over 120 others, senior police officials said. The blast occurred around 830 ...

Tata Motors reports consolidated net loss of Rs 307 cr in Sep quarter

Tata Motors on Tuesday reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 307.26 crore for the second quarter ended September 30. The auto major had reported a net loss of Rs 187.7 crore during the July-September period previous fiscal.The companys tot...

Hero MotoCorp, Harley-Davidson join hands for Indian market

The countrys largest two wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp and US bike maker Harley-Davidson on Tuesday said they have joined hands for the Indian market. As per the distribution agreement, Hero MotoCorp will sell and service Harley-Davidson moto...

US stands with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty, liberty: Pompeo

The United States stands with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and liberty, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday after the third edition of the 22 strategic dialogue that majorly focused on dealing with Chinas agg...

Give Feedback