By Tom Strode
WASHINGTON — Southern Baptist leaders commended to churches the new federal guidelines for restoring in-person worship gatherings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, even as efforts to resolve conflicts between state governments and faith communities continue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidelines May 22 that reminded state and local officials to take the First Amendment right of religious liberty into account when they institute reopening policies. No church or other religious group should be called on to enact “mitigation strategies” stricter than those requested of “similarly situated entities or activities,” the CDC said.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said the guidance “seems reasonable and helpful.” [Read more…]