Andrea Pin is Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, University of Padua, and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law & Religion Emory University
The 2020 pandemic has been a challenge for the rule of law as well as for religions. Perhaps even more importantly and sadly, it has made them clash with each other.
During the pandemic, many states have seen religion as a threat. These states have behaved accordingly, limiting or even preventing many religious practices in ways that go beyond just affecting human rights to even, some might say, overstepping the boundaries between church and state. For example, the Italian Government temporarily permitted temple visits but prohibited religious celebrations, including liturgies such as the Eucharist for Catholics. In other words, it did not simply recommend that religions respect social distancing—it told them and their believers what they could or could not do. This comes at a price—for religions and states alike. (more…)