Australian Christian bookstore chain Koorong has issued a public apology for banning customers with valid mask exemptions from entering their stores.
In a letter sent out to their mailing list, chief retail officer, David Foster, admitted the chain had “cause to repent to atone for a situation that occurred in January 2022.”
Foster said the Koorong Books had “misinterpreted” Queensland Government’s mask mandate guidelines, and as a result, “failed to allow people with valid exemptions to remain in [the] store.”
The letter referred to one case in early January during which a team member asked a female customer for proof of exemption, despite having no basis for doing so. The woman, who was denied service, was then driven from the store with the threat of police attendance.
“Our actions embarrassed and humiliated our customer as they were not in the wrong,” the bookstore admitted.
According to the open letter, Koorong Books rectified the error soon after, and has now publicly “unreservedly apologised” to the woman, and “any of our customers impacted by this failure.” The store said they are “remorseful for any distress this has caused.”
The letter continued: “Jesus came with his revolutionary message of God’s kingdom – a kingdom accessible only by faith. It requires loving obedience to the King and Father, as well as loving service to all people. Love was its one all-inclusive command – a love that Jesus elucidated in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), and a love that fulfilled the Ten Commandments. In Romans 13:10, Paul writes: ‘Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.’”
The bookstore said in this circumstance, the management team “fell short and pray for and seek forgiveness.”
We applaud Koorong for acknowledging their wrongs, repenting, and seeking forgiveness from the public. Let’s hope many others have the courage to follow their lead.