Council of Churches sends govt proposals on easing lockdown

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Photo: agropolit.com

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches appealed to the Cabinet of Ministers with proposals on easing quarantine for religious organizations.

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations sent proposals to the Cabinet of Ministers on easing the coronavirus lockdown for religious organizations. A letter of proposal was forwarded to Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal on May 7, 2020, according to the Institute of Religious Freedom.

Reportedly, when preparing proposals in the Council of Churches, the generalized quarantine phasing out experience of European countries was taken into account.

The document proposes to allow worship in religious buildings "subject to measures to prevent crowding –  i.e. no more than 1 person per 5 square meters of the area of the place of worship or rite (excluding members of the same family) with the required personal protective equipment (except for clergy, preachers and choir singers, for which this is recommended).”

It is proposed to allow “worship and religious rites outside religious buildings in the open air, subject to measures to prevent crowding”, and “religious ceremonies and private rites in churches and other premises used by believers, as well as in the open air” subject to the adoption of sanitary measures.

It is noted that "the requirement of mandatory self-isolation for people who have reached the age of 60 does not apply to clergy and people involved in organizing services."

It is also proposed “to give an opportunity to meet the religious needs of the people in social welfare and palliative care institutions, in particular by providing access to priests with personal protective equipment on, in particular a respirator or a face mask, including those made independently, or by arranging individual remote meetings with them using video communication.”

As reported by the UOJ, the Primate of the UOC blessed all dioceses to participate in the control of the pandemic.

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