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Open Letter From Simon Bridges To Jacinda Ardern: Limitations On Religious Services

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister

Executive Wing

Parliament Buildings

Open letter: limitations on religious services

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to you on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who practice many different faiths and religions, who continue to be unable to gather in any meaningful way for worship this weekend because the Covid-19 restrictions your Government has chosen to keep in place limit the number of people who can attend religious services to 10.

New Zealanders of faith have understood the need to sacrifice their freedom of religion to gather for worship to support our fight against Covid-19.

People of all faiths have done their part, however they are now being told that despite our alert level being reduced they are still no longer able to meet for worship.

New Zealanders find it inconsistent that you allow large numbers of people at bars, restaurants or sporting events but continue to deny more than 10 people gathering for religious services.

It was right to increase the number of people who can attend funerals and tangi – it is right to do the same for our faith communities.

Religious institutions are in a better place than almost any other organisation that is allowed to host larger crowds, and are therefore able to ensure appropriate physical distancing and health precautions are taking place.

I strongly urge you to reconsider this limit so New Zealanders of faith can gather and worship this weekend and participate in what is one of the most defining aspects of their lives: expressing their faith through worship.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Bridges

Leader of the Opposition

Leader of the National Party

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