17:23 GMT29 September 2020
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    The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected almost two million people across the world, has transformed all spheres of our lives, including religion, with services and sermons broadcast online. Even Easter, the most important Christian holiday, was celebrated in empty cathedrals. However, some worshippers and clergy continue to defy the rules.

    Evangelical Bishop Gerald Glenn, who said during a sermon three weeks ago that "God is larger than this dreaded" coronavirus, died of the disease on 11 April, officials at the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Richmond, Virginia reported during Easter Sunday services.

    Pastor Joe Ellison Jr. said that Bishop Glenn was a person that other clergymen turned to for advice. "I said this guy is not only a pastor. Even back then I saw the calling of a Bishop on his life, because he was a pastor to other pastors. And that's what made Bishop Glenn so unique. He made me realize that I could be an outstanding pastor, outstanding husband, an outstanding father most importantly, an outstanding leader".

    The news comes a week after the church announced that Bishop Glenn and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus. According to local television channel WTVR, Pastor Gerald made the statement about God being larger than the disease during a service that was held one day after officials in Richmond banned gatherings of 10 or more people.

    Glenn’s daughter Mar-Gerie Crawley said that the sermon, which was attended by more than 10 people, was held in order to support those who were scared of the pandemic and was not meant to defy the authorities’ order. The United States has the highest number of coronavirus cases as well as the largest death toll from the disease.

    The pastor’s daughter called on local residents to stay indoors. "It becomes very real to you", she said. "I just beg people to understand the severity and the seriousness of this, because people are saying it's not just about us, it's about everyone around us", said Mar-Gerie Crawley.

    Tags:
    coronavirus, life under COVID-19 quarantine, lockdown
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