CNN: ‘Georgia's defiant Orthodox church will host Easter worshipers despite lockdown’

Georgian Orthodox believers in masks arrive at Palm Sunday service in Tbilisi on April 12. Photo: CNN, Apr 18, 2020, Tbilisi, Georgia

CNN has published an article about Georgia, saying the country, which has been “a success story” in the fight against the coronavirus, now “faces a serious test” as its “powerful Georgian Orthodox Church is planning major celebrations that public health officials say could prove deadly”.

Noting that the Georgian Orthodox church has largely refused “to heed the pleas of public health officials, who have urged people to stay home”, CNN's Neil Hauer ​​​​​​says “churches across Georgia have remained open and continued to hold ceremonies, a move that experts say could prove disastrous”.

This Easter, then, will present a major risk for the country. If huge crowds turn out for Easter celebrations, in contravention of calls from leading public health officials, Georgia's record of success in fighting coronavirus could be in doubt”, Hauer says.

The article also reads that “the Georgian church's insistence is all the more remarkable for the measures other Eastern Orthodox churches have taken”. 

It also notes that the Georgian government, which has warned that the country is "entering a peak phase for transmission of the virus", has continued to call on worshipers to stay home.

Read the full story here.