Deconfinement: religious services to resume from May 29th?

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 4 May 2020 at 16h34 · Updated on 5 May 2020 at 16h06
While Secretary of the Interior and Cults Christophe Castaner brought the possibility for believers to celebrate Pentecost as planned up on Sunday May 3rd, 2020, the Prime Minister left the door open to hold religious services before June 2nd. “If the situation is not worsening” in the first weeks of deconfinement, ceremonies will resume from May 29th in France.

When will spring religious celebrations be celebrated again? This Monday May 4th, 2020, as the national deconfinement strategy is presented to the Senate, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe let people hear that worships would resume earlier, from Friday May 29th, that is to say for the long Pentecost weekend. A major event for mosques with the Friday’s prayer and for synagogues celebrating Shavuot starting as of that day or for Protestant and Catholic Churches with Pentecost Sunday on May 31st.

On Tuesday April 28, 2020 the Prime Minister confirmed the impossibility for worships to sustain celebrations as usual at the same time as the guidelines of the confinement plan. For worship officials, the hope to resume religious celebrations as planned was crushed and depending on the evolution of the pandemic in France until May 11th.

Today, religious services are still tightly depending on the next steps of the epidemic. Edouard Philippe said the government was “willing to study the possibility that religious services to resume from May 29th” only “if the situation does not worsen up in the first weeks of the confinement lift”.

About that, the Conférence des responsables de cultes en France [Conference of worship officials in France], gathering the main cults officials in France, met this Thursday April 30th with the Secretary of the Interior. On May 3rd, on RTL and an answer, Christophe Castaner gave details as of suspending public religious celebrations at least until June 2nd, that seemed inevitable then. He said “prayer does not need a place of gathering” that would make “the entire religious community” take a too high contamination risk.


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