SOFIA: Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov urged compatriots to pray at home and not visit churches for Easter to stop the spread of COVID-19 after Christian Orthodox leaders refused to close their doors.
“Religious leaders cannot tell people not to go to church but I can. And I urge Bulgarians not to go, so as not to compromise confinement measures,” Borisov told a press conference.
Bulgaria, a predominantly Christian Orthodox country, celebrates Palm Sunday on April 12 and Easter on April 19, and huge crowds traditionally gather in and around churches for vigils and services even if regular churchgoers are much fewer in number.
The church’s governing body – the Holy Synod – has insisted that cathedrals and churches remain open, despite persistent calls to the contrary from medical experts and the government’s coronavirus taskforce.
They want to prevent a potential surge in COVID-19 infections.