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Chinese American Churches on the Frontlines of Coronavirus Vigilance

Attendance has dropped as much as 50 percent this year.
Chinese American Churches on the Frontlines of Coronavirus Vigilance
Image: Yonat Shimron / RNS
Musicians lead worship at Raleigh Chinese Christian Church on Feb. 23 in Cary, North Carolina.

There has been no sustained community transmission of the coronavirus in the United States so far, and many Chinese churches such as Raleigh Chinese Christian Church (RCCC) are doing their best to keep it that way.

Taped to the entrance of the church’s glass doors is a yellow notice with the word “ATTENTION” in capital letters. It warns parents not to bring their children to church if they’ve traveled to Asia in the past 14 days.

Churches such as RCCC—a nondenominational congregation with services in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English—have taken it upon themselves to self-quarantine, in keeping with Centers for Disease Control guidance.

Many others have taken additional precautionary measures, such as canceling small group gatherings, Sunday lunches, and other communal events.

“I think there’s caution,” said Jerry Miller, RCCC’s youth pastor. “There may be a little bit of fear mixed in with that too, which is understandable.” ...

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