Dutch Protestant Church considering separate services for vaccinated people
The Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) advised its local churches to consider organizing separate services for older people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. These services would be organized in addition to regular Sunday services which would continue to take place as usual, Trouw reported.
A number of local churches recently approached the Cabinet asking if there was room for the number of church-goers to be increased by granting access to those who received a jab or who recently tested negative for the coronavirus infection. They also argued that elderly residents, in particular, suffered from loneliness and lack of social contacts caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Church stated that many elderly citizens were already able to receive the vaccine.
The government was not in favor of the change, stressing it discriminates against the unvaccinated. ”Admitting or not admitting people on the basis of a test or vaccination certificate does not seem to fit in well with the essence of being a church,” they stated.
The Church responded that the newly proposed initiative is not meant to discriminate against people who were not yet vaccinated, but rather provide more options for the people within the community who received the vaccine.
“We are not excluding anyone, we are just giving vaccinated people extra options. After a time that can be characterized as very difficult for them, we are offering this to people wholeheartedly,” PKN spokesperson argued.
PKN emphasized that the new regime was not binding for local communities, but should be considered. The newest proposal was more likely to be adopted in communities where the majority of church-goers are younger. Additionally, PKN explained that people wishing to attend additional religious ceremonies would not be asked to present proof of being vaccinated, but will rather be granted access based on trust.
According to the current restrictions, church services can be attended by maximum of 30 people.