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Churches as superspreaders: Is in-person worship ‘a major source of coronavirus cases?’

'Weekend Plug-in' features analysis, insights and top headlines from the world of faith.

Superspreader.

That’s a new word we’ve learned in 2020, thanks to the global pandemic.

Speaking of which, much attention has focused on in-person worship assemblies as potential superspreader events for COVID-19 — and understandably so.

This week, an in-depth New York Times article drew a bunch of attention with this provocative headline: “Churches were eager to reopen. Now they are a major source of coronavirus cases.”

It’s a fascinating piece. But I appreciated the important questions that Ed Stetzer’s blog at Christianity Today raised about the context — or lack thereof — on the numbers that the Times highlighted. GetReligion’s Terry Mattingly also voiced concerns.

https://twitter.com/edstetzer/status/1281304630006370306

Update: Stetzer points out that the Times has softened its headline to this: “Churches were eager to reopen. Now they are confronting coronavirus cases.” I don’t see any note on the article explaining the reason for the change.

Meanwhile, the Deseret News’ Herb Scribner reported on movie theaters suing New Jersey, arguing that if churches can open, then cinemas can, too. Personal confession: I won’t be eating popcorn anywhere except for my couch for a while.

One more pandemic-related note: I missed this interview when it was first published last week, but it’s an amazing (and encouraging) read: Enjoy New York magazine writer Jebediah Reed’s “long talk with Anthony Fauci’s boss about the pandemic, vaccines, and faith.”

Read the rest of the column.

BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].


“Weekend Plug-in,”  featuring analysis, insights and top headlines from the world of faith, is produced in partnership with Religion Unplugged.

Filed under: corona Corona church Coronavirus COVID-19 Inside Story National religion news Top Stories Weekend Plug-In

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