(RNS) — Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist Convention’s top ethicist, said he saw no problem with churches applying for government loans as part of the coronavirus relief legislation enacted last month.

That legislation provides $350 billion for the Small Business Administration to extend loans to small businesses — and in a government reversal, churches and other houses of worship — facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus shutdown.

The loans can be used to pay staff salaries — including for pastors —  and utility bills and are forgivable, meaning that houses of worship won’t have to pay all the money back if they keep their staff.

Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, said he saw

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