A group of leaders covering several Christian denominations released a statement on Tuesday stating that their congregations and church members should continue to refrain from in-person religious gatherings.

KCRG TV reports that the statement signed by bishops, reverends, and others from Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Catholic, Luthern, Mennonite, and other denominations said that they were concerned about Iowa Governor Kim Reynold's recent decision to allow religious gatherings statewide starting on May 1st. The leaders say they were "surprised" of the governor's decision.

KCRG says that the 21 religious leaders say in their letter that they are recommending that congregations and members NOT gather in person, but continue to use technology and worship at a distance. They noted that the decision to go back to in-person services will be based on science and the guidance of public health officials.

All of the religious leaders expressed sympathy for those who are suffering during the ongoing pandemic.