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No Joyful Noise as German Churches Reopen Without Singing

Lockdown measures eased, but Christians struggle with coronavirus restrictions.
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No Joyful Noise as German Churches Reopen Without Singing
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Franziska König always enjoys getting a note from her pastor. Even so, she never expected to get one like she did last week.

“The message started out normally, asking me how I am doing,” König said, “how I am fairing in these terrible times and so on.”

Then, her pastor told her that their small evangelical church in Berlin was going to reopen after being closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That was good news.

“But it was weird when he said I would have to make ‘reservations’ for my family to have a spot on Sunday,” said König. “That’s certainly never happened before.”

König and her congregation are not alone in navigating a “new normal” for worship gatherings as lockdown limits ease across Germany.

While Germany’s federal government makes plans for tracing infection chains and reopening public facilities, churches across Germany are developing their own plans for how to restart ...

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