U.S. Navy Clarifies Policy, Will Allow Personnel to Attend In-Person Church Services


U.S. Navy Clarifies Policy, Will Allow Personnel to Attend In-Person Church Services

The U.S. Navy is allowing personnel to attend in-person indoor worship services after criticism from some Congress members.

According to The Christian Post, The clarification to the order comes after the First Liberty Institute voiced concern that a June 24 order would keep personnel from attending indoor worship services during the pandemic. The order, however, allowed other secular indoor activities.

First Liberty sent a letter on June 29, arguing that service members have a “right to freely exercise religious beliefs via in-person religious services.”

Two Republican Congress members, Doug Collins and Doug Lamborn, also sent a letter on July 1 to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, saying, “While we can all agree that the health and safety of our troops is critical during the ongoing public health crisis, singling out religious gatherings while allowing other activities and unrestricted social gatherings to take place is unlawful.”

This week, however, Acting Undersecretary of the Navy Greg Slavonic released a memo saying that in-person worship was allowed as long as social distancing measures were followed.

“[The order should not] be construed to restrict attendance at places of worship where attendees are able to appropriately apply COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures, specifically social distancing and use of face covering,” he wrote in the memo released…

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