Pastor Daniel Cattaneo has reportedly reopened his church as a bar in order to comply with Argentina’s Covid-19 lockdown measures, which he says “discriminate” against religious services.
Cattaneo and other pastors dressed as waiters this week and served their congregation while preaching, a clever way around current lockdown measures which, despite being eased back since Monday, still restrict church services from having more than 10 people while other businesses can reopen at 30-percent capacity, according to local media.
Social distancing measures were kept up and members of the congregation wore masks while pastors donning aprons walked around with trays serving bibles in San Lorenzo’s “worship bar.”
“We are standing here today dressed like this, carrying a tray, because it seems this is the only way we can serve the word of God,” Cattaneo told local media.
“So, apart from the breaded veal headed for table four, here goes the word of God from the house of the Lord to all nations,” he added.
The pastor is reportedly looking at other ways to skirt government restrictions in the future, including a drive-in service on Sunday, taking place at an open plot near the church where patrons will remain in their cars and listen to Cattaneo preach from an outdoor screen.
Argentina continues to struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic, but mostly in its capital, Buenos Aires. On Friday, 1,391 new cases were reported, a record high, but all but 89 of them came from Buenos Aires. There have been over 28,000 cases of the virus in the country and over 780 deaths.