BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some of the most significant holy days in the Christian and Jewish faiths begin in the coming days, but Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young is urging religious institutions to keep their doors closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Young’s office said he reached out to religious leaders over the weekend, thanking them for following Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order barring any assemblies of ten or more people and urging them to keep doing so.
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“As we prepare for a busy week for many of our churches and synagogues, I am confident our faith leaders are taking all the necessary precautions,” the mayor said in a statement. “I am hopeful that all of our residents will be able to celebrate and observe these holidays in a manner that respects their faith while keeping them healthy.”
Young also praised churches, synagogues and mosques that are offering video services or finding other ways to use technology to connect with worshippers.
Over the weekend, Friendship Baptist Church in Baltimore kept its doors open to celebrate Palm Sunday. While church leaders estimate hundreds of worshippers took part in the ceremony, no more than ten were allowed in the church at a time.
Police officers and firefighters stood watch at the front and back doors to count the number of people entering and exiting the building.