AUCCRO demands to increase the allowed number of visitors in churches

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. A photo:

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches calls on the authorities to balance the quarantine restrictions on attendance at worship services.

On November 13, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) called on the Ukrainian government not to limit worship services due to COVID-19 to 20 people, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.

The latest decree of the Cabinet of Ministers restricts visits to churches to 20 people at a time, regardless of the size of the temple. Such a generalized approach does not take into account the peculiarities of the functioning of large temples, which can simultaneously accommodate hundreds or even thousands of believers, the statement says.

“Large churches and houses of worship should not remain empty when believers have a need for pastoral care and spiritual comfort in difficult times of quarantine,” the authors of the document emphasize.

The government allowed cinemas and theatres to operate with a filling of no more than 50%, and large churches and houses of worship remain almost empty, the AUCCRO said in an appeal to the government.

The council suggests limiting the number of visitors to 50% if the religious building has seats. In churches without stationary seats, the number of believers should be limited not to a specific figure but by maintaining the distance of 1.5 meters.

As reported, the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers said that the government has no right to restrict worship without introducing a state of emergency.

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