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Cyprus

Authorities won’t prosecute clergy over lockdown services – report

Bishop Neophytos of Morphou

Two bishops and three priests who held services during lockdown will not be prosecuted as there is no evidence of them violating movement restrictions, it was reported on Thursday.

Citing information from the attorney-general’s office, Phileleftheros said there was no question of the clergymen violating movement restrictions since they could be in the church.

The authorities however, investigated whether they made statements or issued circulars encouraging others to break the law by attending church services.

This, according to the paper, was not clear and would be difficult to prove in court.

Morphou Bishop Neophytos held a church service in Peristerona on April 12 while Trimithounta Bishop Varnavas issued a circular to priests in his area to hold services normally.

The police investigation also involved three other cases including a priest who performed service in Ayios Georgios church in Erimi, as well as two other services in Larnaca including the Easter services in Avdellero village.

Police have been instructed to issue €300 fines to those who participated in the services apart from the clergy who had a right to be there.

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