Church bells will ring across the country at midday Wednesday and Orthodox priests and believers will pray for an end of the coronavirus pandemic.
With churches closed for services due to the virus outbreak, the Romanian Orthodox Church called on believers to pray the Lord’s Prayer and other prayers simultaneously from their homes and workplaces.
Romania is under a strict lockdown starting Wednesday, with restrictions on people’s movements. People are allowed to leave their homes only for work, with a signed note from their employers, medical emergencies and to buy groceries.
President Klaus Iohannis has called on the Army to supplement police personnel to enforce the measures and stop the spread of the virus which has killed 13 people in Romania and infected almost 800.
The message from the Romanian Orthodox Church was part of a coordinated appeal from religious leaders who called on the world to unite in prayer in hope for swift end to the virus.
Pope Francis said he would deliver an extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing, normally given only at Christmas and Easter.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called on people to recite the Lord’s Prayer in the hope the outbreak comes to an end.
He wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: ‘I’ll be praying the Lord’s Prayer with Pope Francis and millions around the world tomorrow. ‘Please join us wherever you are. Prayer unites us in testing times. #PrayTogether.’
The Orthodox Holy Synod said priests would say special prayers at monasteries and churches for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 85 percent of Romanians are Orthodox Christians.
Romanian authorities said six people died on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 13. All the deaths were elderly people with underlying health conditions.
The number of coronavirus cases jumped to 762 on Tuesday, the sharpest spike in a day so far.