Tague and Assembly Minority Demand Cuomo Re-Open Religious Centers As Soon As Possible

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanding that he re-open places of worship as soon as possible. Religious institutions are crucial resources for people during mentally and spiritually stressful times, and re-opening them would help greatly in mitigating the negative impact on the mental health of New Yorkers caused by life in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While social distancing and good hygiene practices must be followed, re-opening churches and synagogues would provide much-needed comfort during this time of uncertainty.

“Any plan for re-opening must include mechanisms for houses of worship to re-open as soon as possible,” said Tague. “Since our founding we have valued the free exercise of religion as well as the right to assemble, and restrictions on these rights cannot continue any longer than absolutely necessary. This can be done safely, as worshippers can wear masks and maintain proper social distancing, but if places of worship are closed much longer, many of them may not survive this pandemic. Churches and other religious centers rely on donations to sustain themselves, and while many have received online donations, the absence of weekly congregants has caused donations to slow to dangerous levels in many cases. Our houses of worship are focal points of our communities, and are critically needed for people to maintain their holistic health mentally, physically and spiritually.”

A copy of the letter sent to Cuomo by Assembly Minority can be found here.