Despite lockdown, Romanian Orthodox priest asks authorities to let ‘young and healthy’ faithful attend Easter Vigil

inquam-photo-bucuresti-covid19-biserica-florii-12-aprilie-2020-135938.jpg, George Calin
inquam-photo-bucuresti-covid19-biserica-florii-12-aprilie-2020-135938.jpg, George Calin

A Romanian priest has called on authorities to allow some of the Orthodox faithful attend the Easter Vigil, despite a lockdown that bans public church services and an announcement from the Romanian Orthodox Church that churches will be closed to the masses this Easter.

Calistrat Chifan, a popular ‘duhovnic’ or spiritual father with a sizeable following on Facebook, said some worshipers should be allowed to go out and celebrate the Resurrection at churches for one hour. Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter this Sunday.

Churches across the world were closed on Sunday as Catholics and Protestants  celebrated Easter. Priests offered online services to their congregation, while Christians were able to digitally connect to services in other countries or celebrated Easter at home.

But Chifan appealed to authorities to allow young and healthy Orthodox believers to be allowed to go to church for „at least one hour.” and share the light. He said he believed the authorities of „a Christian country will find a little comma (gap)” in the strict regulations and allow the services.

The Romanian Orthodox Church has said, through its Holy Synod, that only priests can celebrate services in closed churches during lockdown.

The church has called on believers to come to their windows, balconies or gardens and utter the traditional Easter message: “Christ is Risen! to which fellow Christians respond: “He is Risen Indeed!”


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