“In Belo Horizonte, we follow the Plenary of the Supreme Federal Court. What counts is the mayor’s decree. In-person services and masses are prohibited,” he said on his social networks.
Kalil refers to the STF decision of April 2020 that determines that, in addition to the federal government, you state and municipal governments have the power to determine rules of isolation, quarantine and restriction of transport and traffic on highways due to the coronavirus epidemic.
According to the individual decision of Minister Nunes Marques, taken on the eve of this Sunday (5th) of Easter, governors and mayors also cannot demand the fulfillment of norms already edited that bar the accomplishment of masses, cults and meetings of any creeds and religions.
Minister Nunes Marques released the holding of services and masses – Photo: Reproduction / TV Justiça
In the decision, the minister also established that it will be necessary to respect sanitary measures as a way to try to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, including:
- Limit the occupation to 25% of the capacity of the place;
- Maintain space between seats with alternate occupancy between rows of chairs or benches;
- Leave the space airy, with windows and doors open whenever possible;
- Require people to wear masks;
- Make gel alcohol available at the entrances to the temples;
- Check the temperature of those who enter the temples.
The release of services and masses in the country, through preventive measures, occurs at the most critical moment of the pandemic, which is approaching 330 thousand deaths by Covid-19, with a moving average above 3 thousand deaths per day and lack of ICU beds. in hospitals across the country.
Nunes Marques granted the injunction in a lawsuit by the National Association of Evangelical Jurists (Anajure), which questioned state (Piauí and Roraima) and municipal (João Monlevade-MG, Macapá-AP, Serrinha-BA, Bebedouro-SP, Cajamar-SP) decrees , Rio Brilhante-MS and Armação dos Búzios-RJ) that suspended religious celebrations as measures to fight the pandemic.
According to Anajure, the decrees violated “the fundamental right to religious freedom and the principle of state secularism, by determining the unrestricted suspension of religious activities in the city”.
Nunes Marques, rapporteur of the case at the Supreme Court, explained that he granted the injunction because he considered that there was “danger in the delay” of the decision that contemplates a country with a Christian majority during Holy Week, “a moment of singular importance for celebration” of the population’s beliefs.
“I recognize that the moment is one of caution, in view of the pandemic context that we are experiencing. Even so, and precisely because we live in such difficult times, it is more necessary to recognize the essentiality of religious activity, responsible, among other functions, for providing welcome and spiritual comfort ”, he said.
The rapporteur argued that there are different rules across the country on the subject and considered the generic prohibition against religious activity to be “burdensome” as it was done in the decrees, which goes against religious freedom. “Simply forbidding the exercise of any religious practice violates reasonableness and proportionality,” he wrote.
The minister cited the functioning of public transport during the pandemic and concluded “it is possible to reopen temples and churches, although it occurs in a prudent and cautious way, that is, with respect to minimum parameters that observe social distance and that do not encourage unnecessary agglomerations ”.
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