NEW YORK (AP) — From the earliest phases of the coronavirus pandemic, church services and other religious activities have been identified as sources of local outbreaks.
They have posed challenges in the U.S. for government leaders and health officials whose guidelines are sometimes challenged as encroachments on religious liberty.
In the last two weeks alone, there have been two major church-government confrontations in California. First, San Francisco's city attorney sent a cease-and-desist order to the Roman Catholic archdiocese saying some churches had violated a ban on large indoor gatherings.
A few days later, state officials temporarily banned singing and chanting at all indoor places of worship.