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Coronavirus: Religious leaders and clerics ask PM to reverse ban on services

From Sky News - By Jon Craig, chief political correspondent

Boris Johnson is facing the wrath of religious leaders of all faiths over his decision to ban church services and other forms of worship during the national lockdown.

In an angry and emotional letter to the prime minister and all MPs, nearly 1,200 church ministers of all Christian denominations say they are "baffled", "dismayed" and in "great distress".

The move by so many clerics comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and Muslim faith demanded a government U-turn.

And it coincides with furious protests in the House of Lords over war veterans aged 90 and over being forced to stand outside in the cold on Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

Under the new lockdown rules, places of worship will be closed from Thursday, unless they are being used for funerals, individual prayer, formal childcare or other essential public services.

The ministers' letter, already signed by 1,161 ministers and priests, begins by telling Mr Johnson they are praying for the Cabinet and urging him to reconsider the decision to close Christian churches in England.

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