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Russian Church’s Anti-Coronavirus Procession Canceled...Because of Coronavirus

Members of the Russian Orthodox Church in Lipetsk had planned to stage the procession to fight the virus with prayer. Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

A religious procession in central Russia aimed at fighting the coronavirus has been canceled due to the threat of the virus itself.

Lipetsk and several other Russian cities have temporarily banned mass events in an effort to stop the pandemic from spreading further. The Lipetsk region’s governor this week announced a “high alert” status in the region after three people there were diagnosed with the virus, ordering anyone who has recently visited high-risk countries to self quarantine for two weeks.

Members of the Russian Orthodox Church in Lipetsk had planned to stage the March 15 procession in an effort to fight the virus with prayer. Worshippers planned to recite an akathist, or Orthodox hymn, at a cathedral in central Lipetsk before continuing their procession by car into the Lipetsk region.

The procession’s organizer, Yury Bernikov, announced the cancellation on Thursday in connection with the ban on mass events, saying worshippers will have to pray for coronavirus patients’ recovery from their own homes or churches instead.

Let’s hope prayers made in private are as effective as those made in public.

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