Belgian administrative court rejects coronavirus ban on places of worship

The Belgian Council of State, the supreme administrative court in the country, ruled on that closing places of worship due to the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionate and contravenes religious freedom.

The case was brought by Mosdos and individuals from the Satmar community in Antwerp, who sought a ruling that praying and learning in synagogues and batei midrashim should not be banned, while other places considered by the government to be essential, such as gyms, were allowed to remain open.

The administrative court agreed that closing places of worship in this way is a breach of freedom of religion, and ordered the government to amend the regulations to allow them to reopen in a Covid-secure way. They have been given a deadline of 13th December to implement this, otherwise the judges themselves will rule that they must be allowed to be open.


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