Slowly, surely, US houses of worship emerge from lockdown

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Pastor Denny Pagel prays during a service at Grace Bible Church on Sunday, May 24, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Parishioners practiced social distancing as the church held its first in-person service since March. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

On the same weekend that President Donald Trump declared houses of worship are essential, pastors and congregants from some of those churches are cautiously returning to their sanctuaries.

In Kentucky and Texas, several held services for the first time in weeks, while practicing social distancing and providing masks for worshippers.

Those services come on the same day that Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr — the feast of breaking the fast — that marks the end of Ramadan. A festive time for children, many mosques are holding drive through celebrations to maintain distancing. Many churches say they play to open next Sunday.

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