From Zimbabwe, where churches are closed and data costs make attending Mass online prohibitively expensive for most Catholics, to Australia, where churchgoers successfully petitioned authorities to allow places of worship the same number of people as bars, churches are reopening cautiously amid widespread controversy.

Across the world, churches are trying to balance observing religious freedom with protecting people’s health.

“Some people feel churches should be opened” in Zimbabwe, which is under a strict lockdown, said Yvonne Fildah Takawira-Matwaya, who chairs the bishops’ justice and peace commission. “Because data is very expensive, most people are not able to catch live-streaming of Masses,” she said.

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