A decision that churches in Georgia would not be closed on Easter was made by the Georgian government after long consultations with the Patriarchate. Orthodox world celebrates Easter on April 19. Because of curfew, the possibility of attending festive night service remained in question.
Churches of Georgia will not be closed for Easter, Irakli Chikovani, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia, said at a special briefing.
“The Georgian government made a joint decision with the Georgian Orthodox Church so that the law is not violated, churches are not closed and social distance is maintained to protect the lives and health of our citizens,” Chikovani said.
According to him, all the safety standards established by epidemiologists will be observed in the churches on holidays.
“In large churches, during the service, a distance of two meters must be maintained, and in small churches only clergy will serve. Each church will have mobilized patrol police crews to monitor curfew and social distance,” Chikovani said. He warned that movement is prohibited during the curfew.
“Citizens must comply with curfew conditions, otherwise measures will be taken,” Chikovani said.
Starting April 17, on visiting cemeteries will be restricted.
The press speaker of the Patriarchate Andria Dzhagmaidze spoke about how Orthodox churches will work during the Easter service.
“We decided that the flock would come to the church before the curfew, until 21:00, and leave it at 6:00 after the service,” said Dzhagmaidze.
Jagmaidze also noted that all recommendations for maintaining safety and, most importantly, distances will be taken into account.
“The Patriarchate will take into account all instructions from the government and relevant medical services. Limitations will affect age groups, children, people with chronic diseases. We warn everyone as much as possible that those who fall into the high-risk category do not go to the service,” said Jagmaidze.
According to Jagmaidze, for those who believe that they can become infected by coming to church, this will not be considered a violation of faith.