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Don’t Nag Your Husbands During Coronavirus Lockdown, Church Official Tells Russian Women

Bishop Panteleimon’s remarks come three years after Russia scrapped criminal punishments for first-time domestic abuse offenses. Sergei Karpukhin / TASS

A Russian Orthodox Church official has urged women not to reprimand their husbands during coronavirus lockdown in order to avoid domestic conflict — and to punish themselves if they do.

Bishop Panteleimon’s remarks come three years after Russia scrapped criminal punishments for first-time domestic abuse offenses and as the coronavirus pandemic has stalled efforts to re-criminalize domestic violence in Russia’s legislature.

“I’m asked how to live in obedience to my husband. For starters, stop criticizing [him],” Bishop Panteleimon, the head of the church’s department for charity, said in a live YouTube chat Wednesday. 

“Promise this to God: if I criticize, then I’ll make 10 bows in the evening ... or I won’t eat chocolate or surf the internet all day,” Bishop Panteleimon said.

On Sunday, Bishop Panteleimon accused the media of “biased” coverage and explained that “it’s equally important for husbands to stop admonishing their wives.”

“If a husband and wife can’t restrain themselves… they can make a personal commitment to give up what they like for a while,” he said in a statement on his Church department’s website.

“We all need to understand the other person… Our remarks to each other can provoke tension in relationships. It's important to avoid this,” Bishop Panteleimon said.

In March, the government of Malaysia apologized for advising women to “avoid nagging” their husbands during the country's Covid-19 lockdown. 

Other tips issued by the Malaysian women’s ministry online urged women to wear make-up and dress neatly, sparking anger and mockery on social media.

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