Some religious leaders disagree with President Trumps decision to reopen houses of worship

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - Religious organizations say they disagree with President Donald Trump on reopening houses of worship on memorial day weekend.

On Friday religious organizations say they disagree with President Donald Trump that houses of worship are essential. (Source: WILX)

President Trump announced in a press conference Friday afternoon that he deemed houses of worship essential and that they should be open immediately.

Rabbi Michael Zimmerman of Kehillat Israel says he strongly disagrees with that idea.

"To do the work we do, we do not need the building," said Rabbi Zimmerman.

"We cannot put our members in harm's way because we think it would be nice that we all came to the sanctuary together."

Rabbi Zimmerman says they have many elderly members who are at high risk and feel that it's irresponsible to tell them that it's safe to come to congregate when he feels it's not.

Rabbi Zimmerman also says that services have been going extremely well online and that they will continue to do services online for a while.

"We are buckling down, we are going to keep this going until we are confident that it's absolutely safe for people," said Rabbi Zimmerman.

Pastor Melvin Jones of Union Missionary Baptist Church agrees with President Trump in a sense that places of worship are essential, but disagrees with the idea of going back to worship in person.

He recommends that other religious organizations do not open their doors.

"I do not want to have on my heavenly resume an unneeded death someone because we moved to early and moved because of politics essentially rather than putting the safety of our people first," said Pastor Jones.

Pastor Jones told News 10 that he will continue to keep the doors closed at the Union Missionary Baptist Church and continue to do services online to keep his members safe and healthy.

As of Friday, Michigan's executive orders regarding COVID-19 do not allow houses of worship to reopen.

In a statement the United Methodist Church says it urges religious groups to follow the state public health recommendations through June 12.

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