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Last Updated : May 18, 2020 04:26 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus lockdown | Religious heads of mosques, churches, temples in Kerala want to open up places of worship in stages: Report

The TDB had started an online facility for major offerings in 27 prominent shrines across the state, but it had not garnered enthusiastic response

Image for representational purposes only. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Image for representational purposes only. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Religious leaders cutting across lines have written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking permission to open worship places, including temples, churches and mosques, even as the Centre on May 17 extended the nationwide lockdown and restricted gatherings in all places of worship.

The religious leaders have reached out to the state government amidst growing cash crunch due to the lockdown, Hindustan Times has reported.

Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, Cardinal George Alencherry, wrote to Vijayan on May 17 seeking permission to open Christian religious centres to conduct daily ceremonies in restricted manner. Similarly, The All India Imam Council has also approached the government for opening up.

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According to the report, the The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has asked the state government to at least allow devotees who want to make significant offerings.

"Many are devoid of spiritual support these days. If the lockdown continues, it’ll lead to a growing psychological conflict. No one will be able to prevent such consequences. Churches must be allowed to open in a restricted manner. Religious ceremonies are essential for a believer for solace and inner peace," Cardinal Alencherry said.

While the church had introduced virtual offerings, it has failed to attract believers, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Basheer Faizy Deshamangalam, a leader of the Samastha Kerala Sunni Federation, said it is unfaur to keep mosques closed even as liquor shops and other establishments are allowed to open. Others, however, have disagreed.

"We need to apply our minds. It’s painful that all mosques are closed during the holy month of Ramzan. It’d be difficult to maintain social distancing norms if the mosques are opened," a senior Indian Union of Muslim League (IUML) said.

The TDB had started an online facility for major offerings in 27 prominent shrines across the state — it runs over 2,000 temples across the state — but it did not garner enthusiastic response. They have now urged the government to start 'darshans' for devotees who book significant offerings online.
First Published on May 18, 2020 04:26 pm
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