churches

White flags (lower right) have been errected outside First Congregational Church in downtown Columbus.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

More protests could happen this week in Ohio or at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. The Ohio Council of Churches is condemning threats of possible violence at them.

With COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths at record levels, a top public health official called on religious leaders to keep their worship spaces closed, despite rising protests from some church leaders.

"The virus is having a wonderful time right now, taking advantage of circumstances where people have let their guard go down," said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. "Churches gathering in person is a source of considerable concern and has certainly been an instance where super spreading has happened and could happen again."

Adora Namigadde

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about major changes in how people exercise religion and express faith. 

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday that state governors should allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to reopen immediately.

In brief comments at the White House, Trump said houses of worship are "essential places that provide essential services." Churches have faced restrictions for gatherings and ceremonies as public health officials worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some have chafed at the restrictions.

Passover begins today and Holy Week is underway leading up to Easter Sunday. Sometimes memories of holidays can blend together from year to year, but this one will be different for many Northeast Ohioans celebrating during a pandemic.

Rev. Micah Sims of Lee Memorial AME Church in Cleveland is all in with virtual church, streaming services, posting updates and conducting much of church life with members staying in their homes.

Immigration Policy Separating Parents from Children

May 10, 2018
Edith Espinal speaks to an audience at Columbus Mennonite Church.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy for immigrants entering the country without documentation. 

As a result of similar recent federal actions, immigrant parents have been separated from their children -- often U.S. citizens -- and have been forced to turn to other avenues for support, including churches.

One such religious institution includes the Columbus Mennonite Church, which recently allowed Edith Espinal of Mexico to be the first undocumented immigrant to take sanctuary in Ohio's capital. 

Today we discuss the consequences of the new administration's immigration policies on families and on U.S. attorneys who anticipate a further decrease in the amount of time they can spend prosecuting major crimes. 

baby feet
Gabi Menashe / Flickr

Faith leaders who advocate for the poor are urging the Republican-dominated Ohio Senate to change a proposed drop in Medicaid eligibility for poor women. They believe babies will pay the price if this change goes through in the two year budget.