Brian Tamaki has spoken out against the ban. Photo / Michael Craig

Brian Tamaki from Destiny Church in Auckland has spoken out against the ban. Photo / Michael Craig


The government is commended for seeking to protect public health in confronting the Covid 19 pandemic.

The spiritual health of a nation is just as important as physical health. The government needs to explain to the community why on moving to Alert level two it has seen fit to allow restaurants and bars to open with a restriction of 100 persons while at the same time restricting church assemblies to ten persons. The government has also permitted brothels to open, confident that prostitutes will maintain social distancing with their clients. Why does the government believe that citizens attending a church service cannot be trusted to observe social distancing?

It is important to protect our civil liberties from the state. Freedom of religion is an inalienable human right that is conferred on us by our Creator. It is not the role of the state to regulate our religious freedom, but to respect and protect it. The New Zealand Bill of Rights upholds our religious freedom.

On 14 May, 75 church leaders sent an open letter to the Prime Minister requesting that churches be permitted to resume services with congregations being permitted using up to 50 per cent of the space provided in the church. The leaders representing hundreds of thousands of the church community stated “that It is a very sad day in New Zealand when bars and brothels can open, but the Church cannot.”

“The church has been the cornerstone of communities ever since our nation was founded. The church is a community of faith, hope and love, providing both practical care and friendship to families, and to those who are alone, to a very significant portion of our population.With the breakdown of the family unit, along with neglect and abuse, there are many in our society who are struggling with deep hurts, mental health issues which produce both emotional and financial needs.

We would like you to consider that churches be able to resume services with the same restrictions and safety measures in place that other sectors of society are operating under. As bars are allowed to reopen, surely the church, as a place of nurturing, stability and support in the community should be able to open as well. We are extremely disappointed as we feel our vital role in the community has been overlooked.”

In considering what is needed to live, we must not forget that our first consideration is our relationship with God.

That is why it is essential for us, at all times and above all in times of crisis, to have access to our churches and chapels, to the Sacraments, and to public devotions and prayers. We cannot simply accept the determinations of our secular government, which seeks to ignore our Creator in the belief that the Prime Minister and her cabinet will alone save our nation from this pandemic.

Jacinda Ardern, recently stated, “When it comes to church services the logic there is, when you’ve got people who gather together, who are familiar with one another, in large congregations … that is a risky activity,”

 

Prime Minister why is it risky in a church but not in a restaurant, bar, strip club or brothel?

The government should recognise that we have a duty to come together as a community to worship God, to give Him praise and honour and to pray that He will protect our families and community from the effects of the pandemic. Never before in the history of our nation have we had greater need for God’s protection.

Why does the government not recognise this?

 


Authored by Ken Orr from Right to Life.

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