Greek Orthodox Church agrees to suspend daily services, sacraments over coronavirus


The Holy Synod, the ruling body of Greece’s Orthodox Church, agreed on Monday to suspend all daily services and sacraments for an indefinite period as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Following suggestions from political leaders and infectious disease spokesman Sotiris Tsiodras, who briefed the Holy Synod on Monday afternoon, bishops also decided that churches will remain open only for private prayers and that weddings and baptisms are postponed indefinitely. Funerals will be held in close family circle. 

However, Sunday services will continue from March 22 to April 11, but will be cut short, it added.

The Holy Synod did not explicitly prohibit the attendance of the faithful on Sunday, but said it is discouraging it, urging vulnerable people to stay home.