RNS Morning Report: Dispatches from Rome; Religious Conferences Cancelled; Bergen County Closures

A single individual, center, takes a photo at Rome’s famous Spanish Steps on March 12, 2020, as a camera crew works on the right. Photo by Federico Manzoni

Need to know: Friday, March 13, 2020

Striking Silence

A deserted city: Dispatches from Rome in the time of coronavirus

Overnight, the state has made itself visible in full force while the Catholic Church is nowhere to be found. More from Religion News Service

Abundance of Caution

Religious conference organizers cancel, monitor upcoming events in light of virus

With reports of cases in the Washington metropolitan area and the pandemic declaration by the WHO, ‘there was no question anymore,’ one organizer said. More from Religion News Service

Stemming the Spread

Orthodox rabbis in Bergen County, NJ, cancel all synagogue services, gatherings

The decision by the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County stipulated that all services, classes and celebrations should be canceled and that kosher restaurants under the group's jurisdiction serve only takeout. More from Religion News Service

Protocol Vote

United Methodist bishops ask church court to review proposal to split denomination

If the court rules the plan is constitutional, delegates could take up the proposal, called 'A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation,' at the United Methodist General Conference May 5-15 in Minneapolis. More from Religion News Service


Should churches forsake gathering for the sake of the vulnerable?

During a pandemic, churches can love their neighbors by closing down worship services, writes Ed Stetzer. More from Religion News Service

Prominent Criticism

Influential evangelical calls out Trump’s ‘sloppy & dangerous’ coronavirus lies

David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network put the president on notice over his blundering response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More from Huffpost