At least four monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), which have become contagion hotspots for they ignored measures to combat the disease, have been quarantined, according to today’s report on the pandemic.
Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko announced today the closure of the Goloseevsky monastery on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, where twelve Covid-19 cases among monks have been confirmed.
In recent weeks, the same measure had been applied to three other monasteries, two of which are located in the capital. Among them, the famous Kyiv Pechersk Lavra or “Monastery of the Caves”, which is located in the heart of the capital and where more than 140 cases have been recorded (i.e. a number almost equal to half of its monks), three of whom were fatal.
Also BBC reported that police have stopped people going in and out of the Ukrainian town of Pochayiv. Dozens of people including priests have contracted coronavirus and some have died in the town where the 500-year-old Pochayiv Lavra is situated. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Orthodox Christians from the whole region.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is under the Patriarchate of Moscow has largely ignored government measures to combat the pandemic. Moreover, it was the only, out of the three Ukrainian doctrines, which did not ask its faithful to stay at home during the Easter celebrations, last Sunday.
In violation of the government’s restrictive measures, several dozens of worshipers gathered to attend the celebrations in the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra and more than 300 people gathered at the Sviatohirsk Lavra, the main monastery of the Orthodox Church in eastern Ukraine, according to media reports.
Some see behind this distrust of the Orthodox Church an attempt by Moscow to spread the pandemic in Ukraine, as the two countries have been in fierce competition for many years: “They are saboteurs,” a Ukrainian official told AFP, but did not want his identity to be published.
“We see a wave of propaganda against our doctrine,” Archbishop Clement Vecheria, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told the same news agency.
Source: ANA-MPA, BBC