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Rochester church will not reopen following President Trump’s announcement

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- President Donald Trump announced Friday he is deeming places of worship "essential."

He is now calling on governors to allow churches, synagogues and mosques to open immediately, threatening to override their decisions if they don't.

Two days ago, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced phase two of "Stay Home MN," that did not include places of worship.

In Rochester, some church leaders say they are surprised by the announcement.

First Unitarian Universalist Church Reverend Luke Stevens-Royer

First Unitarian Universalist Church Reverend Luke Stevens-Royer says on any given Sunday, more than 200 people gather for service.

While he said he misses gathering and singing, he does not feel as though the time is right to bring people together.

"I think what we provide in terms of spiritual well-being and emotional support to folks is essential and we can do it without opening our doors and putting vulnerable people at risk. I actually think it's a moral and ethical imperative for us to keep our communities healthy and our members safe," Stevens- Royer said.

Reverend Stevens-Royer added that he does agree places of worship are essential. However, he said he feels at this time it is unethical to open their doors

Since the closure, his team has found new ways to connect with people while keeping them safe.

Ubah Ali

Ubah Ali

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