Some in Georgia Attend Easter Mass Despite Coronavirus Curfew

Hundreds attended Orthodox Easter celebrations in the country of Georgia Sunday, April 19, despite a curfew imposed as part of containment measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
READ MORE: Georgia has declared a state of emergency, imposed a lockdown, a night curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than three people in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. The country has nearly 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and four deaths.

Orthodox Christians observed the Easter holiday amid extraordinary coronavirus-related restrictions on services that forced many parishioners to watch services on TV or online.

Church leaders have struggled to figure out how to observe the April 19 holiday — the holiest day in the Orthodox calendar — while avoiding spreading the coronavirus.

Some local parishes have defied orders from public health officials and church leaders and vowed to allow people to attend services in person.

In Russia and Ukraine, two of the biggest Orthodox denominations, priests in St. Petersburg and Kyiv held services beginning late on April 18 that were televised and shown online. (AFP/RFE/RL)