Media Release

Equal and Fair Treatment should be given to Churches

The Victorian Christian community welcomes the Premier’s announcement easing restrictions for churches. For the first time in more than 6 months, Christians can begin to return to worship services in metropolitan and regional Victoria.

“It’s a relief for many Christians and church leaders, however, the disparity we pointed out previously continues,” ACL spokesperson Jasmine Yuen said. “Melbourne churches can now host 10 worshippers indoors, and 20 outdoors but, yet again, the government has forced them to lag behind other venues. Restaurants and hotels have a maximum of 20 indoors and 50 outdoors, and from 8 November, 40 indoors. At that time, churches will only be allowed 20 indoors. Church halls and auditoriums are generally larger and more amenable to social distancing than most cafes and restaurants. Why the disparity?”

“Last week about 180 church leaders wrote an open letter to the Premier. Over 7,000 Christians have now signed a petition calling for the Premier to allow churches to open and for equal and fair treatment in the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown. Victorians need more than just food and drink – they need spiritual, emotional and mental support and healing after a prolonged lockdown.”

“The government announced on Wednesday that it will let 25,000 sport-starved cricket fans at the MCG Boxing Day Test for five days. Boisterous, singing fans are surely riskier than worshippers singing Amazing Grace. Will church restrictions be completely removed by 26 December?”

The Australian Christian Lobby calls on the Premier to treat churches fairly and provide parity on restriction levels to those for indoor dining.

ENDS

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