Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced late on Monday that services in all areas of religious worship of any religion or dogma are suspended. The conservative leader announced the decision on a tweet just an hour after the Holy Synod decided to suspend daily but not Sunday services at least until April 11.
“A government decision suspends operations in all areas of religious worship of any religion or dogma. Churches remain open only for individual prayer. Protection of public health requires clear decisions,” Mitsotakis said.
Με απόφαση της κυβέρνησης αναστέλλονται οι λειτουργίες σε όλους τους χώρους θρησκευτικής λατρείας κάθε δόγματος και θρησκείας. Εκκλησίες παραμένουν ανοικτές μόνο για ατομική προσευχή. Η προστασία της δημόσιας υγείας επιβάλλει ξεκάθαρες αποφάσεις.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 16, 2020
The measure starts today, March 16 and is valid until March 30, media report.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly had asked the Greek Orthodox Church to take drastic measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country. Last week, he urged Greeks to refrain from church going, but few listened.
On Sunday, hundreds kept flocking to the churches, thus receiving the Holy Communion where dozens share the Sanctification with one common spoon, despite scientists’ warnings of the risk of contamination.
Monday night and after a 5-hour meeting Archbishop Ieronymus and the Bishops of the Holy Synod could not overcome themselves and although they suspended daily services, they announced that they will keep the Sunday masses until before Easter.
This would lead again hundreds to the Churches.
That was obviousness too much for the Prime Minister who decided to stop playing the games of the Holy clergy.
PS A brave decision, indeed.