Pastor transforms church into bar in protest at uneven COVID-19 restrictions

WION Web Team
Buenos Aires, Argentina Published: Jun 13, 2020, 12:19 PM(IST)

Evangelical church Comunidad Redentor turned in to a bar Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Bar tables were placed inside the church and pastors dressed as waiters carrying bibles on their trays in a mock service as part of call for religious services to be allowed during Argentina’s coronavirus lockdown.

 

An evangelical church in Argentina has reopened as a bar in protest against the lockdown on religious services that remains in place despite the gradual opening up of other activities around the country.

Bar tables were placed inside the church and pastors dressed as waiters carrying bibles on their trays in a mock service as part of call for religious services to be allowed during Argentina’s coronavirus lockdown.

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“We are standing here today dressed like this, carrying a tray, because it seems this is the only way we can serve the word of God,” pastor Daniel Cattaneo, dressed as a waiter, said as he opened the “worship bar” at the Comunidad Redentor (Redeemer Community) evangelical church in the city of San Lorenzo, in Argentina’s central province of Santa Fe.

Pastor Daniel Cattaneo of the Comunidad Redentor church in San Lorenzo, Argentina, dresses as a waiter to circumvent coronavirus restrictions.
Pastor Daniel Cattaneo of the Comunidad Redentor church in San Lorenzo, Argentina, dresses as a waiter to circumvent coronavirus restrictions.

Although the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires and the surrounding area, the rest of the country remains relatively Covid-free.

The province of Santa Fe, where Cattaneo’s church is located, has been especially successful at containing the virus and has started reopening activities, including bars, but churches are still being allowed to receive a maximum 10 people per service.

Since Monday, bars and restaurants in Santa Fe have been allowed to open from 7am to 11pm, at up to 30 per cent capacity and must keep a register of all clients in case any of them later tests positive.

Cattaneo is considering further alternatives to avoid the ban. A “drive-in worship” has been announced for Sunday in an open plot near the church. “At 3pm in the hectares behind the cemetery the faithful will assemble in their cars, to hear the word of the pastor,” tweeted Santa Fe journalist Pablo Gato Gavira on Friday.

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“So, apart from the breaded veal headed for table four, here goes the word of God from the house of the Lord to all nations.”

“We want to exercise our constitutional right to practice our faith,” Cattaneo said. “Bars can open, shops can open, why are they discriminating against us?”

A record high of 1,391 new cases was recorded in Argentina on Friday, all but 89 of them in Buenos Aires. There have been 28,764 cases and 785 deaths in Argentina so far.

 

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