The Inter-Church Contact in Government Affairs (CIO), the partnership of dozens of Dutch churches, will consult Tuesday afternoon about the Christmas days that are just around the corner.

The intention is to advise believers and houses of worship on the services around Christmas.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte made no special mention of the churches during his speech from the Torentje on Monday, in which he announced the new lockdown.

In principle, nothing changes in the situation for the almshouses.

Churches themselves bear the responsibility for organizing the church services and admitting churchgoers.

The Dutch churches are excluded from all measures implemented by the government on the basis of the freedom of religion.

But most almshouses themselves decided in March to provide the services online because of the corona crisis or to enforce strict measures during the meetings in the churches.

See also: Why are churches still the exception in the corona policy?

It is preferable that churches use the RIVM recommendations

It is preferable that churches put all the rules and advice of the RIVM into practice, such as keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from each other and wearing mouth masks.

The CIO also strongly advised not to hold worship services with more than thirty people in mid-October.

This happened after much social unrest about various churches that admitted hundreds of people during the services despite the corona restrictions.

Minister Ferd Grapperhaus of Religious Affairs had hereafter insisted on a strict advice to make it clear that the churches did take the corona crisis seriously.

According to the

Katholiek Nieuwsblad,

the Dutch bishops want to

arrive at a joint advice on Christmas.

Now, among other things, there is a ban on singing together in Catholic churches and wearing a mouth mask is mandatory.


Watch Rutte's full speech again

Smaller denominations have already provided advice

The Roman Catholic Church of the Netherlands and the Protestant Church of the Netherlands only want to explain after the consultation what the general advice about Christmas will be.

Smaller denominations, such as the Union of Baptist Churches, have already advised churches to provide all Christmas services digitally this year.

“Most of our churches have already decided in March to cancel physical services for now,” explains spokesman Albrecht Boerrigter.

"Coming together is very important for our church and the experience of the faith. But fighting corona is even more important at the moment. And our believers understand that too."