Italian Jews said Monday they would obey a ban on religious gatherings apart from funerals saying that “lives come first” amid the coronavirus emergency.
The head of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI), Noemi Di Segni, said “the Italians Jews and their institutional representatives will scrupulously adhere to what has been laid down (in the government’s lockdown-easing decree) with great realism and sense of responsibility”.
She said all religious communities “must be aware of the gravity of the moment and pull together, avoiding polemics and contrast that distract us from the primary goal of safeguarding the life and health of all citizens”.
The Catholic Church, Protestant Churches and Italy’s Muslims are all chafing at a continued ban on Masses and other religious gatherings apart from funerals in phase two of the coronavirus emergency.
They say freedom to worship is being denied them.
The government has said it will soon come up with a new protocol on religious gatherings.
*The article was published in the Ansa on April 27, 2020.