Week commencing 12th April 2021

The BBC reports that police in London ‘regret’ the upset caused after breaking up a church service on Good Friday because of a breach of Covid rules. Officials said that Covid restrictions were challenging for faith gatherings, but also leadership at New Scotland Yard were going through a period of reflection and learning about the sensitivity around the important religious services and rituals that were being affected. 

Also reported by the BBC is the warning from church leaders that Covid passports are ‘unethical’. An open letter from 1,200 church leaders urges Boris Johnson not to introduce the measure.

The BBC reports that YouTube has barred a Nigerian preacher, TB Joshua, who makes claims about a ‘gay cure’. A rights body filed a complaint after reviewing videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to ‘cure’ gay people. Facebook has also removed at least one of the offending posts showing a woman being slapped while the preacher says he is casting out a “demonic spirit”.

The Guardian reports on radical proposals being put forward to ensure that bishops in the Church of England declare a second income and business interests, in a growing debate about cronyism in the Church.