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Why religious routines won’t return to normal for a very long time

Coronavirus

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File photo | EastIdahoNews.com

SALT LAKE CITY (Deseret News) — Many Americans hope their church will be one of the first buildings to reopen once the spread of COVID-19 slows. The latest updates from lawmakers across the country suggest they’ll likely get their wish.

The White House’s guidelines for opening up America and nearly all plans released state-by-state so far include houses of worship in lists of businesses that can reopen by early May.

Most states will likely take this approach since religious freedom law requires officials to treat churches no worse than similarly situated gathering spaces, said Michael Moreland, director of the Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at Villanova University.

“If restaurants are allowed to open and have dine-in customers, then it’s hard for a state to justify not allowing churches to open,” he said.

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