Cyprus Mail

Priests in Limassol and Paphos ask president to reopen churches

Stressing the need for congregations’ spiritual nourishment, 81 Limassol priests have written to President Nicos Anastasiades asking that churches in Limassol and Paphos districts reopen to the faithful.

Both Limassol and Paphos districts are under partial lockdown until November 30 as part of a tougher regime than the rest of the island aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak.

Restrictions for church attendance apply in other districts, and the priests said that the same protocol should apply to Limassol congregations.

“Churches are not a social or charitable institution but a spiritual hospital,” they said.

The need for support and hope are all the more pressing amid during the unprecedented conditions created by the pandemic, the letter notes. No-one considers closing supermarkets so as not to deprive people of basics or hospitals in order to protect health, or banks so as not to suffocate economic activity.

“In the same way, no-one should consider closing places of worship so that people can have spiritual health and secure spiritual nourishment,” they said.

As the faithful had complied with measures, wearing masks in church and social distancing, priests had thought closure of churches would not arise.

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