Urk church abandoning Covid restrictions in favor of "spiritual well-being"
The Sion church in Urk decided to no longer enforce the coronavirus restriction in an attempt to attend to "the need and the spiritual well-being" of the congregation, an elder of the church said to Trouw. The church, which can sit around 500 people, was already packed on Sunday.
Since Sunday, the Sion church no longer required face masks and no longer enforced social distancing. According to the church elder H. Snoek, in practice households still often keep 1.5 meters apart. The church has many large families, so the children can sit on the ends and keep adults 1.5 meters apart anyway, he said to the newspaper.
"It is not that we know better in Urk, or that we do not listen to the government. We want to be obedient to the government, but in conjunction with God's commandments," Snoek said. According to him, the congregation is dissatisfied with government policy. The contact seems to have disappeared," he said. "And the psychological distress of the congregation is not taken into account."
It's not only the Urk church that decided to ignore restrictions, other churches are doing the same, Snoek said. "Everyone has to persevere, certainly, it's not easy for anyone. But other groups are also grabbing space such as protesters, footballers. They are sometimes closer together than we would ever be in church," he said.