The coronavirus has struck religion.

The Church of Greece is trying to come to grips with the situation timed at Easter, one of the most important feasts of Orthodoxy.

The Greek government announced that the provisional precautionary measures for places of religious worship which was implemented on 16 March will be extended until 11 April.

The Holy Synod is schedule to meet, under the leadership of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, next Wednesday at 5pm (Greek time) via teleconference in order to look at ways in which to comply with measures taken to limit the spread of coronavirus. During this meeting, the clergy will decide on proposals to be made to the Greek State regarding Easter services during Holy Week which culminate on Holy Saturday on 18 April.

Archbishop Ieronymos has requested permission to allow the clergy to normally perform Divine Liturgy and religious services behind closed doors.

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“This will greatly facilitate the sacred mission of the Church, which has the obligation to ask and pray for the health of that prudent flock, and will also play a decisive role in keeping the laity calm,” Archbishop Ieronymos wrote in a letter to Education and Religions Minister Niki Kerameus. He also requested authorisation to perform the Divine Liturgy in monasteries where people live in small communities.

Clergy and church officials have been greatly impacted by measures to combat the spread of coronavirus and has sought relevant special compensation offered on the ERGANI platform created to offer 800-euro compensation claims of employees suffering as a result of the crisis. Church officials told the Athens Macedonia Newsagency that the request for compensation is not for members of the clergy but for laypeople working in churches as chanters and sextons.

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A Greek priest was arrested in Dirfys, Messapia, on Sunday following a complaint made on the 112 emergency number by a citizen who accused the priest of violating measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus by opening the church and offering the sacrament of Holy Communion to parishioners who attended.