Met. Luke on coronavirus: During epidemics people head to temples

The ruling bishop of the Zaporizhzhia Eparchy, Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko). Photo:

The believer is not afraid of anything, because he/she is with Christ, Met. Luke emphasized.

The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic generated among the inhabitants of Ukraine a lot of rumours, fears and questions, including how to protect themselves and their loved ones from infection. Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol, a doctor by training, talked to a UOJ correspondent and commented on the current situation.

“Let's look at the whole history of the Church. When epidemics break out, tragedies and cataclysms occur, where do people rush to? At such moments, people turn to God, go on religious processions, and gather in the temple for general prayer. They seek protection and help from God,” said Metropolitan Luke.

The UOC hierarch recalled that the life of each of us is in the hands of God, and that is why Orthodox Christians around the world first headed to temples during pandemics (spreading of the disease across a large region – Ed.). They did not fear to get infected, but on the contrary, they sought healing there and found it, Lord Bishop emphasized.

“In the cross procession and during the service, everyone breathes in one breath. Because the believer is not afraid of anything, he is with Christ,” the bishop added.

He said that he is now in another country. There, during a visit to the church shop, he noticed some people, due to artificially heated panic and a false fear of infection, even acquire individual spoons for the Holy Communion.

“Separate spoons for the Communion – what is this? Fear to get infected from the Holy Body and Blood of Christ?! Madness! Do you fear Christ? Why are you going to Him then?” said Metropolitan Luke.

The UOC hierarch urged the flock not to panic, not to sin, to trust God, to observe personal hygiene rules and lead a healthy lifestyle. And in conclusion, he reminded that in due time people managed to survive the “swine flu", the “bird flu", and even the “Spanish flu” epidemic, which is considered one of the most massive flu pandemics in the history of mankind.

Earlier, Metropolitan Luke noted: it will make a difference to the world if everyone understands that the Gospel is the Word of God.

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