A Canadian think tank says Ontario churches were arbitrarily subjected to greater restrictions than retail businesses during the pandemic.
That’s prompted policy advisor Cardus to call for changes to the province’s laws.
It argues that at a time of emergency, houses of worship should be in a separate category offering essential and constitutionally guaranteed services.
The think tank found that during the covid crisis, authorities failed to recognise the distinct role of faith communities and the essential nature of public worship.
Its findings followed feedback from Christian and other faith leaders.
Cardus concluded that for many religious traditions, public or communal worship is fundamental, not optional.
It added that limits on churches during emergencies should be proportionate to those on other places.