ORLANDO, Fla. — President Donald Trump announced he is deeming places of worship “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning churches are now allowed to reopen.
For weeks, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been urging places of worship to continue services and start allowing parishioners to return.
Local churches resorted to having drive-in style services with worshippers parked in their cars.
Trump urged houses of prayer to reopen as early as this weekend.
He said he is upset that some states have told liquor stores they could stay open, but told churches they needed to close.
The president said he needed to step in and fix it.
“The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue. Go to the mosque. Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life. The ministers, pastors, rabbis and imams and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray,” Trump said.
Plans have been put in place for different houses of worship in Central Florida but even with the president’s announcement, some faith leaders are holding off.
The Diocese of Orlando started allowing people to come to church for daily mass this week. Sunday mass won’t start until May 31.
The Episcopal Dioscese is asking people to wear masks to its services.
First Baptist Church Orlando said it will continue online worship until further notice.
Carter Tabernacle, a christian Methodist episcopal church said it will continue its drive-in services.
Ohev Shalom, Orlando’s first synagogue said it already has begun the process of exploring how it might safely reopen but a date has not been set.
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