In order to circumvent the current Covid restrictions the director of the DeBalie in Amsterdam, Yoeri Albrecht, wants to turn the debating center into a religious institution. He believes this will allow him to continue the venue’s events during lock-down.

 “I will go to the Chamber of Commerce tomorrow [17th January] to change the status,” the director said on the television programme WNL op Zondag.

Discussing the current restrictions on the arts and culture Albrecht said, “This way, I want to start the conversation why the cultural sector has been considered part of the “non-essential” sector for two years while I think that culture is an important way of life for many people. Just like religion can be”.

The current coronavirus restrictions would allow DeBalie to function if it was designated a religious institution. Yoeri Albrecht continued, “I don’t understand why you can come together in Veluwe to discuss a 2,000-year-old, but not get together in the heart of Amsterdam to discuss a book from one month ago”. 

Possible names for the religion might be The Church of Reason or The Left Church.   17th January 2022

Photo by Jan Boeve / Forum on European Culture