Greek Church Requests Coronavirus Exception to Conduct Liturgies Behind Closed Doors

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos. Photo Credit: AMNA

The leadership of the Orthodox Christian Church of Greece requested an exemption from the coronavirus curfew measures in a letter sent to the Education & Religion Ministry officials on Thursday.

Their request was submitted so that they could carry on liturgies on a normal schedule, but behind closed doors.

Before the curfew, the government had allowed only emergency services such as funerals, with a restricted number of attendees, and church visits for individual prayers only, with the appropriate distances kept among the faithful.

In a letter to Minister Niki Kerameus, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece argued that the exception “will facilitate to the utmost the mission of the Church, which is obliged to pray and supplicate over the health of its flock, but will also contribute decisively to allowing the lay members of the Church to maintain their spiritual well-being.”

He also pointed out that the measures have affected services within hospitals and monasteries, the latter of which live in completely isolated communities anyway.

There has been no response from the Ministry of Education to the Church’s request as of yet.