GERMANY - Church Service Spreads Coronavirus

Arno Froese

A man has died after becoming infected with COVID-19 at a Pentecost service in the northern city of Bremerhaven. This isn’t the first time a church in Germany has been at the center of an outbreak.

The outbreak was linked to a Pentecost service that took place in early June. The Bremen health ministry announced the cluster of infections—at the time, the number of infections was reported at 44, but the number has risen since. Around 150 people are thought to have attended the church service.

The church congregation is largely made up of large Russian-German families. According to reports from the city, they lead a segregated life—in part, shaped by their experience of persecution as Christians and a national minority in the Soviet Union, reported RND.

Many states permitted places of worship to open their doors in mid-May—two months after coronavirus measures forced them closed.

Strict hygiene and social distancing safeguards should have been put in place for worshipers, but there have still been several COVID-19 infection outbreaks linked to churches in Germany.

A cluster of 40 coronavirus infections in the city of Frankfurt am Main and the surrounding area was traced to a Baptist church service that took place on May 10.

In early June, a catholic priest who traveled to three towns to lead services in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was diagnosed with the virus, causing a further 12 people to be quarantined.

-www.dw.com/en, 14 June 2020

Arno's commentary

Tightly packed congregations are candidates for the spread of coronavirus. 

Such was also the case in South Korea, as the New York Times reported: “The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Korea neared 7,400. As many of them have been traced back to the mysterious Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the organization has become a lightning rod for the public’s wrath and a ready outlet for longstanding prejudice” (www.nytimes.com, 9 March 2020).

Furthermore, we recall that the Orthodox community in Jerusalem equally experienced an unusually high number of coronavirus infections. 

While there are innumerable different reasons for objections to the lockdown of churches, these few examples make it clear that we have to follow the instructions and ordinances of officials, as stated in 1 Peter 2:13: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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