Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that religious gatherings are now permitted in western New York, but there are some limitations.

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Places of worship were scheduled to reopen in phase 4, but yesterday (May 20), Governor Cuomo eased restrictions. According to WGRZ, religious gatherings of 10 people or less will now be allowed. Anyone who takes part of a religious gathering must adhere to all social distancing rules and wear masks.

"I know we're moving in the right direction now." ~ Darius Pridgen, Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church, via WGRZ

Pastor Pridgen said he received a call from Governor Cuomo to be a part of the Interfaith Advisory Council, which will assist with determining best practices for fully reopening churches and places of worship across New York state. Pastor Pridgen accepted the appointment from the Gov.

"I was encouraged today to get the call from the governor to say, 'Hey, let's talk about it.' Let's all at least work together so that we have a safe opening and a gradual opening of churches like we are with other entities. I have already started reaching out to my other colleagues in the Jewish community, in the Muslim community, and other communities because their needs may be a little different." ~ Darius Pridgen, Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church, via WGRZ